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.

Below is all the information you’ll need to consider if this incubator is right for you and your social enterprise, and if it is, to then apply.

If you have a question, 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 responses to the application questions offline, you can download a copy of the form here. Please note: all applications must still be submitted online.

What you can expect

  • 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 enterprise’s strengths, weaknesses, and challenges and combine that 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, collaborate and network with fellow Incubator participants as well as PRF, Sefa Partnerships, Sefa and other for purpose teams at the Yirranma Place community precinct for social purpose.
  • The possibility of capital to support your social enterprise needs and development objectives identified through the program.
  • Flexibility around when you undertake the two Sprints to help you balance your learning with business and personal commitments.

Before you apply 

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

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

Eligibility criterion

Our first incubator is for Growth Stage social enterprises who can:

  • 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; and
  • Have a revenue base and/or key customers and are looking to confirm a strong operating model; or
  • Have a strong operating model including a track record of delivering revenue and are taking on the challenge of expanding.

Applicants must also be at least 18 years old, be an Australian citizen or resident, and your social enterprise must be delivering impact in Australia only.

If this doesn’t describe you and/or the current stage of your social enterprise, we ask you not to apply this time around as we won’t be able to progress your application. We’ll have other, different opportunities coming up in 2023 however, so please follow us on socials or subscribe to the PRF newsletter to stay up to date.

Who is the Growth Incubator for?

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

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

  1. A track record of delivering a product or service and of the social impact this generates
  2. Recurring forms of revenue
  3. Established or key recurring customers
  4. A paid team of at least two full time equivalent employees (FTE).

For example, you could be:

  • 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.
  • Or, 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.
  • Or, a social enterprise that is lacking time and resources and needs an external and independent lens to help you prioritise some key strategic areas.
  • Or, 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.

Remember, your social enterprise must be able to 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.

What are the key dates I need to know?

Applications open on 17 November (World Social Enterprise Day) and close at 5:00pm AEDT on Friday 9 December.

We’ll be reviewing applications as they come through and finalising a shortlist for interview. We’ll contact all applicants by 21 December to let you know if you’ve been successful in progressing to the interview phase.

If you’re shortlisted for interview, you must be available in the period 16 – 20 January 2023. Interviews will be conducted online.

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

In person learning and activities will be held 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. 

What we expect from you

Commitment from the founder/CEO/key decision maker within your social enterprise, plus up to three members of 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 coaches will spend 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 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.

If you have a question, take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions from Ask Me Anything Webinar 1 December.

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

Applications close at 5:00pm AEDT on Friday 9 December. Applications received after the deadline will not be reviewed.