We’re excited to open applications for our new Social Enterprise Incubator with Sefa Partnerships and Sefa.

We want to help grow the pool and impact of social enterprises working to break cycles of disadvantage in Australia by supporting them to reach sustainable operations.

Our first ever incubator recognises the opportunity to support social enterprises that have passed the start-up stage, have a track record of delivering a product or service and are stable. What they need now is support to reach or expand sustainable operations, accelerate their growth and deliver greater impact.

Before you apply

Please read the information below to make sure this incubator is right for your social enterprise, including that you can demonstrate an alignment with Paul Ramsay Foundation’s (PRF) strategic impact areas, you’re at a suitable stage of growth and can commit to all the program dates.

PRF, Sefa Partnerships and Sefa value diversity and inclusion, and we encourage people with diverse backgrounds, experience, expertise and perspectives to apply.

If you have a question about the program or application process, please first take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions from the Ask Me Anything Webinar 1 December.

If you’d like to prepare your application offline, you can download a copy of the form here. Please note: all applications must still be submitted online by 11 December.

Eligibility criterion

1.    Your organisation aligns with our strategic impact areas

Demonstrate an existing contribution to breaking cycles of disadvantage in Australia in at least one of Paul Ramsay Foundation’s three strategic impact areas:

- Thriving children (early childhood development or school age learning),

- Employment, and

- Justice & safety.
2.   Your organisation has passed start-up stage and:

- Has a revenue base and/or key customers and is looking to confirm a strong operating model; or

- Has a strong operating model including a track record of delivering revenue and is taking on the challenge of expanding.
3.    Your organisation has a stable business model and is already delivering impact

The PRF Social Enterprise Growth Incubator is for social enterprises with an established team (it could be a small, medium or large team) and a stable business model that is already delivering impact.

For example, you could be either:

- A founder or CEO with a handful of team members, who may not have a detailed strategic plan and would value the opportunity to spend time diving deep into the specific challenges facing your social enterprise. Teams of up to four would benefit from this experience.

- A social enterprise building revenue that wants to validate your business model and impact to ensure they are robust and ready for expansion and the next level of growth.

- A social enterprise that is lacking time and resources and needs an external and independent lens to help you prioritise some key strategic areas.

- A social enterprise that is already stable or sustainable and wants to explore and understand the implications of suitable finance options for your enterprise, and make sure you are ready and resilient overall.

4.    Your organisation’s operations are stable

By stable, we mean social enterprises that can demonstrate at least two of the following characteristics:

- A track record of delivering a product or service and of the social impact this generates

- Recurring forms of revenue

- Established or key recurring customers

- A paid team of at least two full time equivalent employees (FTE).

5.    Your organisation is delivering impact in Australia

Applicants must also be at least 18 years old and be an Australian citizen or resident.

6.    You can commit to the key program dates

Applications open 17 November 2022 and close on Sunday 11 December 2022 at 11.59pm AEDT.

We’ll let all applicants if they’ve been shortlisted for interview by 21 December 2022.

Interviews will be conducted online from 16 – 20 January 2023.

If you’re selected for the Incubator, you must be able to attend all in person connection, learning and collaboration sessions including:

1.      Orientation Week (27 February – 3 March 2023)

2.      Sprint One (focusing Impact and Enterprise Model) (May 2023)

3.      Sprint Two (focusing on Strategy and Finance) (August 2023)

4.      End of program Demonstration and Networking Event (December 2023)

These sessions will be held in person at Yirranma Place in Darlinghurst, NSW. Travel and accommodation will be organised and covered by the program for individuals or small teams from each successful organisation, to be determined during the interview phase.

If you don’t feel like this Incubator is right for your social enterprise at this time, we’ll have different opportunities coming up in 2023, so please follow us on socials or subscribe to the PRF newsletter to stay up to date.

What you can expect from the PRF Social Enterprise Growth Incubator

- Customised learning ‘sprints’ focused on growing, measuring, and evaluating impact, your enterprise model, strategy, and finance, with content tailored to the needs and challenges of your specific social enterprise.

- A dedicated Growth Incubator Manager to help identify and support your participation and development objectives throughout the 10-month program.

- Coaches that learn about you, your team, your social enterprise’s strengths, gaps, challenges and opportunities, and combine this knowledge with deep expertise in a broad range of areas to become a ‘second brain’ for your social enterprise, helping you explore and analyse your growth and impact options and ultimately accelerate your decision-making.

- Opportunities to connect and collaborate with fellow Incubator participants as well as PRF, Sefa Partnerships, Sefa and other for purpose organisations within Yirranma Place.

- The possibility of capital to support your social enterprise’s needs and development objectives identified through the program. We understand the criticality of capital support for enterprises at this stage in their journey, but we cannot pre-empt at this stage the exact types of capital support a particular entity may need. The need, volume and type of capital support will be determined on a case-by-case basis during the program, to make sure any capital is fit-for-purpose and maximises your ability to take the next steps ingrowing your social enterprise.

- Flexibility around when in May and August you undertake the two Sprints, to help you balance your learning with your other commitments.

What we expect from you

We ask for a commitment from the key decision maker within your organisation, plus up to three other participants from your team, that you will:

- Attend Orientation Week, the two Sprints (5 days each including travel) and the capstone Demonstration and Networking Event session.

- Allocate time between and after the two Sprints to implement and progress what you’ve learnt.

- Spend the time agreed with your coaches to prepare for your coaching sessions. Your two coaches will spend a total of six days (or the equivalent of) with you during the program, most likely in the months after each sprint. You should expect to spend about double this amount of time (so a total of 12 days) preparing for and following up after the coaching sessions.

How can I apply?

If you’re confident this incubator is right for you and your social enterprise, please apply here.

Applications close at 11.59pm AEDT on Sunday 11 December.

We look forward to receiving your application!