Westpac Seeks Social Business for $10M Program
Wednesday, 21st September 2016 at 11:44 am
Westpac’s $10 million Businesses of Tomorrow program is open to applicants, and the bank said it wants for-purpose organisations and Not for Profits to nominate themselves for a piece of the pie.
The program, coinciding with Westpac’s 200-year anniversary, will identify 200 businesses a year that show potential to make a difference in Australia’s future.
From these 200, 20 will selected by a judging panel to receive a tailored $100,000 packaging including mentoring, a global study tour and professional services.
General manager of commercial banking Alastair Welsh told Pro Bono Australia News the program is not just limited to businesses.
“Success for us [means] we’ll get a number of Not for Profits applying and getting recognised, because I think that will show a real support for… how important the sector is,” Welsh said.
“Yes, it’s about businesses, but it’s also about all the great work people do. If we get some Not for Profits recognised I think that would be awesome.”
He also said that he would like to see businesses with a strong social purpose apply.
“We really want to be backing Australian businesses that are making a difference for the future,” he said.
“So some of the criteria that we looked at was they’ve got to have a really strong purpose, which as always [is] anchored and deeply understanding a customer problem.
“They’ve got to demonstrate exceptional value, they’ve got to be able to contribute more than just with their customers and owners – it’s got to be far wider and they’ve got to have a strong capability for a competitive edge.
“To turn to the Not for Profit sector, why we think it’s a big opportunity for Not for Profits is we’re actually looking for the quality of what business leaders do today, but have the aspirations to build on outstanding things to set their businesses up tomorrow.”
As part of the commitment to Australia’s business future, Westpac partnered with Deloitte to produce a Businesses of Tomorrow report.
It found there was a $70 billion potential economic uplift from investing in Australian businesses, as well as in people and leadership. There is also a $20 billion potential boost for regional Australia.
“For our 200 years we wanted to profile backing Australian businesses, and then we knew we needed to get a bit more of a fact base and that’s why we partnered with Deloitte Access to be able to help us to really look into it and say ‘what are the big differences for the future’,” Welsh said.
“It’s important for Australia that businesses are successful. As a country we’ve been built on success from businesses and entrepreneurs right from the start.
“As Australia’s first bank and first company we deeply believe the success of Australia will be built around businesses being successful, and that’s for their community, for their own people, for the industry and for the broader economy.”