Westpac Foundation Awards $1.5m to Social Enterprises
13 December 2016 at 1:25 pm
Five not-for-profit social enterprises have been awarded up to $300,000 each over three years, through Westpac Foundation’s new social scale-up grants.
The foundation said the successful recipients were selected based on their proven models for creating jobs and employment pathways for Australians who needed it most.
The recipients are:
- Bama Services: an Indigenous-owned civil construction, building and landscaping services enterprise based in Cairns, Queensland.
- Green Connect: creates jobs for resettled refugees and young people in Illawarra, New South Wales through keeping waste out of landfill, composting and growing chemical-free food.
- Jigsaw Business Solutions: provides employment, work experience and skilled development opportunities to people living with a disability.
- STREAT: tackles youth disadvantage and homelessness by using its hospitality businesses to provide a supported pathway to careers in the hospitality industry and independent living.
- The Bread & Butter Project: provides training and employment pathways to refugees and asylum seekers in the art of bread and pastry baking.
Westpac Foundation CEO Sinclair Taylor said the work of social enterprises in creating employment pathways was critical to Australians facing barriers to gaining mainstream jobs.
“The human toll on those individuals and their families is significant. People who are unemployed over long periods of time are more likely to become socially and economically isolated and to suffer mental health issues,” Taylor said.
“We have designed our new social scale-up grant program specifically to support those social enterprises that are using innovative business models to tackle this challenge.”
He said in addition to its financial contribution, the Westpac Foundation also offered grant recipients support through its More than Money program in which Westpac Group employees offer non-financial support.
“By combining multi-year financial and non-financial support, we aim to help build the capacity of the selected social enterprises. This will help to maximise their financial resilience and impact so they can continue to deliver more jobs and employment pathways for fellow Australians in need,” he said.
“We’re excited by the prospect of backing our first five amazing social scale up recipients. Each has a clear passion and conviction to make a positive, measurable difference for their fellow Australians.
“Around $14 million in grants has been awarded by Westpac Foundation to social enterprises over the past 10 years.”