Social enterprises helping break cycles of disadvantage across Australia will be supported to accelerate their growth and impact through a new intensive program.

Today we announce the eight social enterprises selected to participate in our inaugural Social Enterprise Growth Incubator, being delivered by Sefa Partnerships.  

During the 10-month Incubator program, the organisations will be supported to strengthen their operations and impact with access to customised learning sprints, expert coaches, a dedicated incubator manager and opportunities to connect with fellow participants and the wider for-purpose sector.

These eight social enterprises, all beyond the start-up stage, are working across Australia to break cycles of disadvantage in different ways, from creating employment opportunities for people facing barriers to work, to providing a unique education program that strengthens children’s emotional and social skills and resilience.

Abhilash Mudaliar, Chief Impact Officer at PRF, said social enterprises hold great potential to drive social change in Australia, with investment in these organisations capable of yielding strong returns for individuals and communities experiencing systemic disadvantage.

“There are 12,000 social enterprises in Australia that already contribute $21 billion to the economy and employ over 200,000 people,” he said. “These are enterprises with innovative ideas about how to overcome pressing challenges by leveraging the tools of both non-profits and business. They have demonstrated a track record of progress, but now need focused support to realise their ambitions of delivering sustainable, long-term impact.

“We want to enhance the capability and capacity of social enterprises with a shared commitment to addressing the underlying social and economic causes of disadvantage and to pursuing collaborative, community-led solutions.

“As the Incubator’s first eight participants, these social enterprises will work closely with industry experts, a dedicated incubator manager and each other to drive their work breaking cycles of disadvantage in Australia further.”    

The PRF Social Enterprise Growth Incubator will be delivered by Social Enterprise Finance Australia (Sefa) Partnerships, a not-for-profit organisation that builds the capability and capacity of social impact businesses through learning programs, personal and professional development, and unique collaborations.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome the inaugural cohort of Growth Incubator participants to the program,” Lucinda Bourke, Head of Collaboration at Sefa Partnerships said.

“Supporting these organisations to take the next step in scaling their businesses sustainably means they will have a much greater impact footprint in their communities.”

The 2023 PRF Social Enterprise Growth Incubator participants are: Ability Enterprises (Qld); Blend Creative (SA); Free to Feed (Vic); Fruit2Work (Vic); Hamlet (Tas); Hotel Etico(NSW); Social Science Translated (Qld); and Welcome to Country (NSW).

The successful social enterprises were selected following a competitive national application process and will come together for an orientation week at Yirranma Place, from 27 February to March 3, 2023.

About the 2023Paul Ramsay Foundation Social Enterprise Growth Incubator participants

Ability Enterprises (Queensland)
Ability Enterprises provides meaningful employment opportunities to marginalised individuals living in regional Queensland. It collectively employs over 80 people who have faced barriers to employment, across various sectors including waste management, hospitality, maintenance, administration and cleaning industries.  

Blend Creative (South Australia)
Blend Creative is a socially inclusive, multi-service graphic design studio that provides real work opportunities to designers with disabilities.

Free to Feed (Victoria)
Through training, employment and supportive shared food experiences, Free to Feed empowers people seeking asylum and refugees to overcome social and economic barriers to inclusion in Australia.

Fruit2Work (Victoria)
Fruit2Work delivers high quality fruit, milk, and pantry items to workplaces, while providing meaningful employment opportunities for those who have been impacted by the justice system.  

Hamlet (Tasmania)
Hamlet is a social-enterprise café providing hands-on training and work-ready skills to Tasmanians who face barriers to securing employment and participating in the community.

Hotel Etico (NSW)
Located in the historic Mount Victoria Manor in the Blue Mountains, Hotel Etico is Australia’s first social enterprise hotel, providing vocational training and independent living skills for young adults with learning disabilities.

Social Science Translated (Queensland/online)
Through its flagship espionage-themed program, Secret Agent Society (SAS), Social Science Translated works to strengthen the emotional and social skills and resilience of8 to 12-year-olds, including children diagnosed with autism, ADHD and anxiety.

Welcome to Country (NSW/online)
Welcome to Country is a not-for-profit organisation addressing employment and economic development outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities by providing a national online marketplace for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences and products.

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