Victorian Government Offers up to $50,000 in Funding for Social Enterprises
5 June 2018 at 5:27 pm
Victorian social enterprises and organisations looking to start a social enterprise will be able to apply for up to $50,000 in funding, after the state government launched a new round of its Boost Your Business vouchers.
The vouchers provide funding for businesses in a number of different streams, allowing organisations to partner with industry experts and help in areas like product development, business processes and research.
On Tuesday, the Victorian government opened applications for a second round of vouchers, for streams including Social Enterprise Capability.
This stream is eligible for social enterprise businesses that employ less than 20 staff.
Charities and not for profits are also eligible if they already operate as a social enterprise; are looking to start a social enterprise; or move to a social enterprise model.
The Victorian government said this was a “key initiative aligned with the building business capacity and skills action area to support the viability, sustainability and growth of social enterprises”.
The Victorian Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll, said the first round of the program provided more than $3 million in funding to support over 100 businesses across Victoria.
“We’re helping Victorian businesses create jobs by unlocking their potential and supporting their product and market access ambitions,” Carroll said.
“The first round supported over 100 businesses across the state – this second round will mean even more companies have access to the support they need to grow and innovate.”
Vouchers in the social enterprise stream are capped at $25,000, but recipients are eligible for up to two vouchers lifting the maximum funding to $50,000.
Projects funded through a voucher are expected to be “growth-orientated activities” which – with the help of registered service providers – will assist an enterprise to improve productivity, employ more people and generally increase scale, profitability and impact.
Registered service providers in this stream include Deloitte Australia, Social Traders, Social Ventures Australia, The Difference Incubator and the University of Melbourne’s Asia-Pacific Social Impact Centre.
One group that received funding from the first round of the Social Enterprise Capability stream was social purpose organisation TRY Australia.
A spokesperson for TRY told Pro Bono News that the funding would be used to develop an implementation plan for the expansion of TRY Build – a social enterprise offering disadvantaged young people the opportunity to “learn practical new skills, gain a qualification and get a job”.
“The program is targeted at disadvantaged young people currently not in education, training or employment. It is designed to be a practical introduction to the building industry with an emphasis on hands-on learning and a focus on not just training for training’s sake, but an employment outcome,” the spokesperson said.
“As part of their course, participants are given support in literacy, numeracy and exposure to a wide range of building and construction practices.
“In the past 12 months the TRY Build program has given the opportunity for almost 40 trainees to undergo Certificate II in Building and Construction and a further 30 trainees in the pre-accredited course where they receive mentoring, work skills experience and support in literacy and numeracy.”
The Social Enterprise Capability voucher stream is a part of the Victorian government’s broader Social Enterprise Strategy, which was launched in February 2017.
The strategy’s vision is for “Victoria’s inclusive growth [to be] supported by thriving and sustainable social enterprises”.
Applications for vouchers will be open until 13 July.