NAB Helps Streetwear Social Enterprise Scale-Up
24 February 2016 at 8:46 am
Fair trade fashion brand, Etiko, is the latest social enterprise to receive a grant from National Australia Bank’s Impact Investment Readiness Fund.
The company, which focusses on producing fair trade footwear and clothing, has received a $75,000 grant towards attracting further investment and to take the brand into international markets.
Launched in 2015, the Impact Investment Readiness Fund offers grants of up to $100,000
for social enterprises not classified as charities to access growth rather than seed funding.
Etiko’s founder Nick Savaidis said the grant would help raise additional investment to scale the business.
“The company has twice been ranked Most Ethical Fashion Brand in Australia, largely due to its commitment in addressing child labour and sweatshop labour in fashion industry supply chains,” Savaidis said.
“We have adopted a different type of business model – one that aims to make profit while addressing an important social issue – child and sweatshop labour. We want to mainstream our ethical fashion ethos, both in Australia and internationally, so are seeking investors who will look at social and environmental impact as well as financial returns.
“This grant will assist us tremendously to connect with this type of investor”.
Other recipients of the NAB grants program address a variety of issues, including education, renewable energy and disability services.
NAB’s Head of Community Finance and Development, Corinne Proske, said the fund would support innovative solutions to social and environmental challenges facing Australia.
“These grants will help bridge the gap in Australia that exists between mission-driven organisations in need of funding and investors actively seeking impact investment opportunities,” Proske said.
“These organisations will be able to develop their plans and hopefully attract the necessary investment needed for them to succeed.
“But this is just the start. It’s time for the corporate sector to show greater support for funds such as this if the social finance market is to truly develop.”
Impact Investing Australia CEO Daniel Madhaven said NAB’s leadership in building the impact investing market in Australia was encouraging other organisations to contribute to the fund.
“Since its launch, the Impact Investment Readiness Fund has seen high demand from social enterprises and we see a real opportunity to grow the fund to $10 to 20 million to deliver more impact,” Madhaven said.
The first grant recipient, Maths Pathway, has already used its grant to pay for business advice that has helped attract an additional $750,000 from investors, and grant recipient Hire-up used its allocation to raise $2.5 million capital.