School’s in for The Crunch
11 December 2013 at 9:47 am
The latest slew of social enterprise startups selected for intensive business development have been announced by Social Traders – and for the first time, the new class has an all-Australian flavour.
Round 4 of The Crunch sees six of the 16 places in the Melbourne-based incubator program offered to applicants outside Victoria.
The ideas selected address a broad range of social and environmental issues including local community waste and recycling initiatives, training and employment services, response to food security concerns and alternative income streams for existing charitable organisations.
The program aims to have each enterprise seeking investment and commencing trading within 12 months through a six-month intensive process involving workshops, mentor-matching and network support.
Social Traders Managing Director David Brookes highlighted the importance of tailored capacity building support for building sustainable and market-ready social enterprises.
"The Crunch matches up each of the enterprise participants with business mentors to undertake feasibility assessment, market testing and financial analysis. A robust business plan is developed in order to secure start-up investment," he said.
Demand for social enterprise capacity building programs is increasing, with Social Traders receiving over 80 applications from around Australia.
Government and philanthropic support has been pivotal in growing opportunities at The Crunch, with a doubling of places attributed to sponsorship from Westpac Foundation, the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Sustainability Victoria, the Telstra Foundation, the Victorian State Government and the Tasmanian Department of Economic Development, Tourism and The Arts.
A snapshot of some of The Crunch’s new class:
- Bright Sparks will divert electrical waste away from landfill by repairing or reusing broken household electrical goods through the set-up of their inner-city repair service in Melbourne.
- Charter Maxi Taxi is a secondary network service provider in the Melbourne taxi industry employing African drivers with Maxi Taxis.
- Game Changers Australia is using youth-focused sports leadership programs to increase youth volunteering and change the culture of sporting clubs from the junior levels.
- Digital Native will employ and train young people to provided competitively priced social media marketing services to local businesses on the Central Coast.
- Harvest Connect develops ongoing local food resilience by supporting young people to build skills and horticultural knowledge, develop leadership skills and participate in local volunteering and paid employment.
- The Indigenous Fashion Enterprise is a social enterprise owned by the Nation’s First People. The Aboriginal fashion and homewares business will provide training and employment opportunities to the Wiradjuri Community in Sydney and regional NSW through art and textile design.
- Kung Food Catering will create employment opportunities for people with a disability and promote inclusion and diversity by providing services to school canteens and local sporting clubs that currently offer limited or no service due to a lack of volunteers.
- OpMarket will provide a dedicated online ecommerce and marketing platform to maximise the capability of existing op shops thus increasing their fundraising and impact.
- The Village Gate is a proposed Not for Profit Family Day Care (FDC) service that will offer high quality, culturally appropriate and affordable Early Childhood education and Care, particularly for new migrant communities.