Celebrating the Growth Grants program
In this newsletter we share details of the past seven years of our Impact Investment Ready Growth Grants program, with funding for the program concluded, for now.
We are grateful for your support of this valuable program, which has made a positive impact to many Australian social enterprises and the communities they serve. In particular, IIA would like to acknowledge and thank the program’s two funders, National Australia Back (2015–2017) and the Department of Social Services (2017–2022).
In our final round of Growth Grants, we were delighted to award funding to seven social enterprises that are making an impact in a diverse range of fields, including housing, disability, employment and community safety. We wish them all well as they look to raise capital, scale their businesses and expand their impact.
In other news, the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment continues its 2022 Summit Series. We give an overview of the two final sessions for the year. Be sure to lock the dates in your diary.
Have a great day!
More than $8 million granted
While current funding for the Impact Investment Ready Growth Grants has concluded, we want to celebrate and reflect on the support it has given to the social enterprises that are working hard to fulfil a social or environmental purpose.
Since 2015, the Growth Grants have provided social enterprises wanting to scale their impact with funding for business, financial, legal and other capacity building support. During that time, 105 grants have been awarded, totaling $8.15 million and resulting in over $183 million in impact capital raised (to date). In the last 12 months alone, Growth Grant recipients who closed out their grants employed over 1,000 people.
Growth Grants were initially funded by National Australia Bank (as a demonstration trial). At that time, the objectives of the Growth Grants were to address three gaps: (1) the social enterprises’ capacity and funding gap, (2) the intermediaries’ sustainability gap, and (3) the investors’ pipeline gap. Since 2017, the Growth Grants have been funded by the Department of Social Services’ Sector Readiness Fund.
There are around 20,000 social enterprises in Australia, estimated to generate up to 3% of GDP and employ 300,000 Australians. Around 7,000 social enterprises are employment-focused, targeting people who experience the greatest barriers to employment, including people with disability, young people and women experiencing disadvantage.
The Growth Grant program has supported many extraordinary social enterprises that have a significant impact on the lives of people, our communities and the environment. They have an essential role to play in the broader economy with many of them operating in job-intensive business areas. Nurturing and growing these businesses are necessarily key steps on the path to a better future. We look forward to playing a supportive role in the growth of Australia’s social enterprise sector.
Messages from former Grant recipients
Thank you for the opportunity. We gained many valuable insights and were able to refine our strategy and focus from participation in stage 1 which will help us deliver more impact in the future with our new product offering. – Gateway2Talent (formerly Refugee Talent)
Thanks for this amazing program. We feel very strongly that social enterprise has a significant role to play in community development, local cohesion, and the sustainability of social projects. – The Social Foundry
Impact Investing Australia provides tremendous support for businesses to source early stage capital for growth in a very difficult and complex climate. Freeze Dry
We now have a very strong base of impact investors who have large enough funds to invest in us in the future. And because of the connections we have made we are in a great position to leverage their networks for future raises. – Verve Super
Thank you for this grant. It has really helped us to reach a critical milestone. – Junglefy
Latest round of Growth Grants
Carinya Society provides training and support services to advance the independence, dignity, worth and human rights of adults with disabilities. The social enterprise runs over 70 day programs for more than 110 participants, and offers community respite care and specialist disability accommodation services.
Fruit2Work delivers fruit and milk to workplaces in and around Melbourne and the Geelong region, while offering meaningful employment for people who have been impacted by the justice system. The social enterprise enables its team members to gain important skills and experiences to reset their lives, and return to society as contributing members.
Head Start Homes works to reduce homelessness and poverty and free up social housing by helping single mothers, First Nations Peoples and other families living in community housing to buy their own home, without a bank deposit via its Head Start Guarantee and Empowerment Services. With the support of over 100 businesses and charities, Head Start Homes is working to achieve its vision for ‘a safe and stable home for everyone with fair and practical pathways into home ownership’.
MiHaven specialises in sustainable and innovative property development and construction, student, disability and social accommodation as well as industry-based training – servicing a diverse range of communities in far north Queensland. In the past eight years, this B Corp has built over 100 sustainable houses, engaged 100 local employers, trained 800 disadvantaged Indigenous people and placed 60% of trainees into employment.
Project Rockit was launched in 2006 by two sisters who were keen for action on bullying. The social enterprise sends highly trained, passionate young presenters into schools to run workshops that empower students to lead positive change at school, online and beyond. Project Rockit creates safe spaces where young people have access to respect, acceptance, creative expression and leadership skills.
RoboFit is Australia’s first robot-powered rehabilitation centre that is helping people with severe injuries regain their strength through wearable Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) technology. Combining neuroscience and cutting edge wearable technology, HAL can be used to remap neural pathways, helping the wearer to gain more independence.
She’s A Crowd uses crowdsourced data to make cities safer for women and address gender-based violence. Using digital crowdsourcing technology and data analytics, the platform collects geolocative data about harassment and sexual assault, and delivers data insights to customers and decision-makers, supporting them to make cities safer for women and take preventative action on gender-based violence.
Online Impact Summit Series
Building on the demand for short, sharp and influential events, the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment is hosting its Impact Summit Series that explores key developments in the impact sector. The first session held in June was a great success, and there are two sessions set for the remainder of the year.
Boosting Capital Flows in Emerging Markets
This session will explore the barriers to investment in the SDGs in emerging markets – focusing on concrete solutions and showcasing investment vehicles and instruments employed by investors across asset classes. You will hear from major asset owners, asset managers, DFIs and other stakeholders leading the way.
New Frontiers of the Impact Revolution – Townhall meeting led by Sir Ronald Cohen
In this final session in the Summit Series, Sir Ronald Cohen will lead a townhall meeting to discuss boosting impact capital flows and debate how best to bring about full impact transparency for investors and businesses. The session will look back at the progress made in implementing the G7 Impact Taskforce’s recommendations and the way forward in overcoming the challenges ahead.