Tips and inspiration for changemakers from the social impact crowdfunding website, StartSomeGood

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This Week in Social Entrepreneurship: More Things to Look Forward to in 2017!


Be with like-minded individuals in the different festivals you can join this year!

We hope you are all settling well into 2017. We are back this week with events and opportunities to add to your calendar & articles and news clips on social entrepreneurship around the globe. Enjoy!

Opportunities and Events

The Global Good Fund Announces 5th Annual Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurs

Now on its fifth year, learn more about The Global Good Fund’s annual fellowship for social entrepreneurs in partnership with Johnson & Johnson who will sponsor three fellows who have innovation ideas when it comes to healthcare challenges.

Startup Fest in Montreal – July 12-15, 2017

Join the Startup Festival in Montreal this July and be amongst global entrepenreneurs, founders, investors, and mentors. Startupfest is for everyone whether you are a startup or an investor. Register now as early bird tickets are up for grabs until 18 February!

SXSW in Austin, Texas – March 10-19, 2017

If you’re in Austin, Texas this March, drop by The South by Southwest Conference featuring professionals and big names in the creative industry. Visit their website for more details.

Radical Self Care Project 

Starting February 1, take part of a 28-day program that focuses on authentic and intentional self care, which tends to get buried under all the responsibilities we need to attend to. Check this out as it may be for you!


News, Reports, Insights

MSU launches speaker series January 19 featuring social entrepreneurs

Montana State University is kicking off a four-part social entrepreneurship speaker series. Speakers will impart knowledge on topics such as environmentally sustainable products, food security, autism and music education, and more. Visit their site for more details.

Millenials (and more) turn to business to make social change

Read this article from the University of Southern California News about how millenials are now more and more looking into businesses to make social change. In 2008, USC founded the first social enterprise program housed in an American business school known as Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab. Learn more about it through the link above.

JDC’s Social Hackathon aims to help vulnerable Israelis

In Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Community hosted a social impact hackathon in partnership with large tech players like Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Microsoft. With over 100 participants in 30 mentors, the event asked the programmers to develop programs and apps to address challenges in Israel with regards to people of old age or with disabilities. 21 ideas were chosen to be further developed and 3 of these received top awards.



Relevance is vital for social entrepreneurship

The Hindu Business Line talks about the importance of relevance in the realm of social entreprenership and how the first step is to “understand the people at whom the venture or product is aimed”.

The profit in social impact: Business models that balance social relevance and bottom lines

There is a current rise in investments in enterprises whose business models give equal emphasis to profitability and social relevance. This is an interesting read especially for social entrepreneurs who strive for social impact.

The 17 Rules These Entrepreneurs Say You Should Break in 2017

Meet 17 entrepreneurs who share tips and secrets on what to give up this 2017. Learn from their experiences to be more productive, present, and healthy in growing your businesses and ideas this year.


Let us know if you have links you would like to share. Email us at with “TWISE” in the subject line. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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The Social Enterprise Design Challenge is back!

EFF Social Enterprise Design Challenge cover image


What is this for: new social enterprise concepts from DGR (tax deductible) organisations in Australia

Applications due: January 31, 2017

Crowdfunding: March

Amount: Up to a $15,000 match.

Express interest: here.



The Social Enterprise Design Challenge is a unique matched funding opportunity provided by the English Famly Foundation and hosted by StartSomeGood which supports non-profit social enterprises in Australia to test and design new concepts for creating sustainable and transformational social change.

We are looking for ambitious leaders who are finding new and innovative solutions to tackle the most pressing issues within our communities, and who need a little help to achieve this. By asking the community to invest alongside us we ensure that these solutions have the support and attention they need to have the best chance at succeeding.

Last year four non-profit social enterprises tested their ideas through crowdfunding with the help of the English Family Foundation and StartSomeGood. To our delight all four exceeded their fundaising goals. Together they raised over $130,000 from over 650 individual supporters. You can find out more about their campaigns and our criteria here.


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This week in Social Entrepreneurship: November 25 2016

Crowdfunding campaign of the week: Bikes for Good in Adelaide, Australia

Crowdfunding campaign of the week: Bikes for Good in Adelaide, Australia

The amount of news and information and stories that get published today is pretty overwhelming, even in a niche (albeit one becoming increasingly mainstream) like social entrepreneurship. We try to keep our fingers on the pulse but it’s harder and harder to keep up! But as long as we’re trying anyway we figured we should curate what we find to make it easier for the rest of you. To help with this we’ve decided to re-start our This Week in Social Entrepreneurship column.

Each week we’ll collect the most interesting and exciting opportunities, news and stories as a cheat-sheet for you to stay on-top of what’s happening our thriving sector. We hope you find it useful! See details on how to share your news with us at the bottom.

Before we start let us wish our US team and community a very happy Thanksgiving! We are thankful for all the amazing work you all do to create a better future.

Opportunities & Events


Chivas Regal’s The Venture Deadline for UK Social Enterprises is November 30

The deadline for UK entrants to Chivas Regal’s The Venture is next week! Put yourself in the running for $1,000,000 and plenty of other exposure and support.

Purpose Conference, Sydney, December 5-6

Purpose is returning after a wonderful initial conference last year (which our CEO Tom spoke at) for another deep dive into the world of purpose-driven business. There’s a few tickets left!

SEFA Crowdmatch – turning crowdfunding into investment.

This is for early stage Australian social enterprises with a track record and good growth prospects. If approved for the program you will have the opportunity to prove that there is community support for your enterprise by raising at least $25,000 on StartSomeGood to qualify for a loan of $50,000+ to fuel your growth, turning $25,000 into at least $75,000!

News, Reports, Insights


Words With Hearts Wins Australian leg of The Venture

Congratulations to Words With Heart who won the Australian leg of Chivas Regal’s social enterpirse competition The Venture this week! Words With Heart is a StartSomeGood alum, as were two others of the five finalists. We’re very proud of all of them.


Why Philanthropy is the Best Kind of Risk Capital

Great post by Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen Fund, on why patient capital is so important in building the social enterprise sector.


Your Guide to Impact Investing

Very helpful introduction for the “non-billionaire” potential impact investor (guessing that’s most of you reading this) from our friend and Forbes columnist Devin Thorpe.



After the election… is a time for social entrepreneurs

Our CEO Tom Dawkins sent this message to our team last week sharing his thoughts on the election of Donald Trump and the role of social entrepreneurs to create a better community. We thought you might like to read it also.


A Startup Transforming Shipping Containers Into Tiny Affordable Housing

The one year old non-profit, called Rejuve will upcycle and repurpose some of the more than 760,000 unused shipping containers at ports and other places to place them in abandoned lots and other blighted properties where there’s already the utility infrastructure in place for dwelling. She calls them Plug-in-Pods.


A Food Truck That Serves Up Gourmet Food And Drinks — And Jobs For Refugees

Refuge Coffee is a nonprofit gourmet food truck that employees refugees resettled in Clarkston, Ga., and provides job training and networking opportunities within the community.


The American student who gave Cambodian children a chance to get clean

Samir Lakhani, an American student who previously saw a Cambodian woman washing her child with detergent 2 years ago. Now, he’s already supplying villagers with a safe way to keep clean, and also with jobs.


Got something you think we should include in future This Week in Social Entrepreneurships? Send it to us at hello at with “TWISE” in the subject line.


Not Just Another Crowdfunding Platform: Our Partnerships Help You Double Your Money

Week 6

TL:DR Version

If you’re an impatient social entrepreneur reading this, here’s the gist: we partner with businesses, foundations and governments to boost the funds raised by selected social benefit projects on our site, often by providing up to half your funding goal up-front. We have three of these opportunities open right now – find them under the “Funding Opportunities” heading on our homepage.

If you want to know how and why we arrived at this model, read on…

How Best to Support Change?

If you’ve been with us for any length of time you know this, but StartSomeGood was founded with a mission to help innovative community benefit projects share their stories and raise the funds they need to launch, whether run by a social enterprise, a not-for-profit or a local community group or changemaker.

Like all the other crowdfunding platforms out there, our focus was (and remains) to build great tools to help for you to rally your community. For many platforms, that’s all they do, leaving projects to sink or swim entirely on their own. But we wanted to go further than that, because it was never about throwing projects out there, it was about helping them to succeed, and this, we rapidly learned, meant also focusing on coaching entrepreneurs on how to use these tools effectively.

We put more emphasis on coaching and supporting people to set up projects which succeed, which is why we have the highest success rate in cause crowdfunding.

But still, we were dissatisfied.

There are great ideas out there that struggle to get the attention of funders – particularly those with the capacity to make bigger investments – and which fail to gain the momentum they need to reach their goals, despite the quality or importance of the idea. While crowdfunding is an amazing tool for making new things possible it’s not a meritocracy with regards to those ideas. Those with more resources, connections, marketing experience and time will naturally tend to do better.

We kept asking ourselves how we could best help the best projects, based on the quality of their ideas, and help connect them with potential funders.

The answer came to us thanks to a conversation with ING DIRECT Australia. They had a somewhat different problem they wanted to solve: they were keen on supporting more grassroots projects, but uncertain about how to differentiate between the volume of ideas they were likely to receive without staffing up a major foundation, which they didn’t want to do. They also wanted to better leverage all their resources, including their communications channels and relationships, to support these projects, not simply provide a grant.

And a new approach to funding innovation was born.

Introducing Crowdmatch


We now call this model Crowdmatch, and we’re really excited about how well it works for both entrepreneurs, who get a huge boost at the start of their campaigns, and for our funding partners, who see their risk reduced, their funds go further and their community get more involved.

Crowdmatch sees a funding partner support a group of projects either from the start of their crowdfunding campaign, by providing up to half of the funds they are seeking, which then needs to be matched by the community, or at the end, based on meeting specific goals.

The goal of Crowdmatch is to better connect philanthropic giving with community aspirations and impact investing with market input.

The combination  gives social entrepreneurs and non-profits the best chance to raise the funds and rally the community backing they need to do good, while making institutional funding more targeted and impactful.

With ING DIRECT we are now into our third year of Dreamstarter and the sixth cohort of projects supported through the program will launch in two weeks. Through Dreamstarter ING DIRECT have invested about $200,000 in community benefit projects and together we have helped them crowdfund more than $300,000 more, with a 90% participant success rate.

We are working hard to increase the number of these opportunities available. Just in the last week we have launched two new opportunities.

New Crowdmatch Opportunities:

EFF Social Enterprise Design Challenge cover image

The Social Enterprise Design Challenge presented by the English Family Foundation is a rare and exciting opportunity for Australian-based non-profit social enterprises to design and test a “visionary” new project.

It will fund four projects for half their fundraising goal, up to $15,000 each. Find out more about what they’re looking for and how to apply here. Applications due by May 5.

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 9.06.58 AM

The Young Changemakers Crowdmatch will support Australian changemakers aged 18-29 to develop and run crowdfunding campaigns, with $5,000 in match funds going to the projects with the most supporters and most funds raised at the end. Participating projects will get help from experts in both organisations and have their campaigns promoted to over 150,000 people.

Find out more and how to apply here. Applications due May 1.

Why just Australian opportunities? Because that’s what these particular partners are looking to fund and who is live right now, but we hear you, we want to create opportunities for everyone reading this and are in discussions with potential Crowdmatch partners in several countries. If you would like to see this model available to great projects in your country we would love your suggestions for potential partners as we are looking for new partners to add new opportunities all around the world! And if you are that potential partner, well….

Interested in Changing the World Together?

You can find out more about partnership opportunities with StartSomeGood here and when you’re ready get in touch with us here. We’d love to talk with you about collaboration!




A cheat-sheet of great opportunities for Australian Social Enterprises

one night stand

Jamie Green of One Night Stand sleepwear, a social enterprise which raises funds for homeless relief, and who was supported by ING DIRECT’s Dreamstarter.

This is an exciting time to be founding or growing a social enterprise in Australia, with a rapid build-out of a supportive ecosystem of organisations here to help entrepreneurs and enterprises succeed. As about 1/3 of our projects are currently from Australia (which makes it our equal biggest market with the US) and we have members of our team there who keep abreast of such things, we thought it would be worth summarising these opportunities as a cheat-sheet for Aussie entrepreneurs.

This is the first of a series of posts which will provide similar cheat-sheets for the US, UK, Canada, SE Asia and elsewhere.

Incubators, Accelerators and Leadership Programs

Need to discover your purpose, refine your idea or get serious about scale? Whichever stage you’re at one of the great programs below can help you take that next step!

School for Social Entrepreneurs
The School for Social Entrepreneurs started in the UK and launched in Australia in 2009. It now runs programs in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth, helping aspiring social entrepreneurs to develop a clear theory of change and identify how to move forward with their vision.

Centre for Sustainability Leadership
The Centre for Sustainability Leadership (CSL) is another entrepreneurial leadership program – with a more environmental bent – to help people become “future makers”. They have programs for intrapreneurial leadership as well as a program for rural leaders.

One10 is a new social enterprise accelerator in Melbourne which works closely with enterprises to get them growing and ready to raise investment. The One10 accelerator program last for about 12 weeks, the program is tailored to each individual or business. They work to strengthen your market strategy, to help you commercialise, and to support your rapid growth.

Social Traders’ Crunch
The Crunch, run by Social Traders, has been around for five years and has worked with 100 social enterprises. They help participating enterprises grow capacity in creating jobs, business sustainability, waste reduction, accessible housing and more.

Impact Accelerator
Impact Accelerator is a Brisbane-based 20 week program dedicated to supporting social enterprise startup and early stage entrepreneurs achieve sustainable and scalable impact. The program includes 160 direct hours of contact with every social entrepreneur and is great for new, launching enterprises.

INCUBATE is an award-winning startup accelerator and entrepreneur program at the University of Sydney. INCUBATE fosters a proactive community of entrepreneurs on campus by providing funding, co-working space and mentoring from Australia’s most recognised entrepreneurs to accelerate the growth of high-potential startups. The program is open to students, researchers and alumni at the University of Sydney and is expanding across Australia.

Two Feet by The Difference Incubator
Two Feet, a new program run by The Difference Incubator, helps you build your organisation’s understanding and capacity on your journey to becoming investable. This six month program is structured into fortnightly group sessions and a monthly one-on-one coaching session which will explore the key aspects that you need to build into your business in order to grow an Investable Social Enterprise

Funding and Investment

Social Enterprises may have a sustainable business model but like many startups you may require investment to fully realise this. If this describes your enterprise here are a few opportunities you should look into.

Dreamstarter by ING DIRECT
Over the past three years ING DIRECT have supported 50 community projects – including many social enterprises – through their Dreamstarter program. If selected they will provide up to half your fundraising goal, then support you to raise the rest on StartSomeGood.

Some of the entrepreneurs supported by Dreamstarter last year

Some of the entrepreneurs supported by Dreamstarter last year

SEFA –Social Enterprise Finance Australia – is one of Australia’s leading lenders to mission-led organisations. SEFA provides tailored finance solutions to mission led organisations and are deeply committed to fostering positive social and environmental impact. They have recently launched a worlds-first collaboration with StartSomeGood to use crowdfunding success as a qualifying instrument for a loan. Find out more here.

Foresters Community Finance
Foresters provides community finance loans for social enterprises and non-profit organisations who are looking to grow and develop. These will be on relatively commercial terms.

Myer Innovation Fellowship
This doesn’t have to be a social enterprise but can be and is one of the great opportunities in the Australian social change sector. The Myer Innovation Fellowships supports Australia’s brightest, self-directed leaders to forge breakthrough solutions and articulate actionable ideas which compel our community to respond. Fellows will take nine months away from their current role to pursue a nascent idea that has the capacity to radically shift our approaches to the challenges facing the social and environmental sectors in Australia today. Fellows will each receive $100,000 for their nine month commitment to the program along with select administrative and operational support.

Local Government Funding
A number of Australian local governments have social enterprise funding programs. At StartSomeGood we’ve worked with the Cities of Melbourne (Pitch for Good), Parramatta (Parramatch) and Fremantle (Freomatch) to showcase great social entrepreneurs and support them to crowdfund additional support, matching that with government funding. So don’t forget to check out your local council for opportunities.

Impact Investment Readiness Fund
The Impact Investment Readiness Fund provides mission-driven organisations with targeted advice and support to help them secure investment for scaling up their social or environmental impact. The Fund offers grants of up to $100,000 for enterprises to purchase specialised capacity building support from providers such as advisory, financial, intermediary or legal services.

10×10 supports emerging charities and social enterprises across Australia through live crowdfunding events with 100 participants contributing a minimum of $100 and three organisations pitching for their support.

The Funding Network
TFN is an Australian non-profit organisation that hosts live collective-giving events where like-minded individuals, foundations and corporations come together to create powerful social change. At each event, four social entrepreneurs running grassroots non-profit organisations pitch for funding from a philanthropic audience. In six-minute segments our speakers share their inspiring stories and invite guests to become part of innovative solutions to community issues. TFN has raised $3.1 million for 94 organisations so far.

Crowdfunding with StartSomeGood!
Have to put this on the list. We love working with social enterprises and help them reach their goals at a very high rate. You don’t necessarily need the approval of institutional investors if you have an engaged community ready to support you and be early adopters of what you’re offering!

Events and Learning Opportunities

Events can be a source of knowledge and of community. They’re how you build your community and where you can find natural partners, collaborators and mentors, as well as where you can learn many of the essential skills to social enterprise success.

General Assembly
General Assembly transforms thinkers into creators through education and opportunities in technology, business, and design. They offer an incredible array of workshops and courses, on and offline (in Sydney and Melbourne, and another 17 locations worldwide) in everything a startup would need. Coding, design, customer development, marketing, data analytics and more. Doesn’t have a social focus but if you need to skill up on the hard skills to make your vision fly this is the place to look.

Link Festival
Link Festival is a wonderful conference which covers design, technology and social change, and for the first time this year takes place in Sydney in additional to Melbourne. Link bring together Australia’s leading and emerging social innovators and future makers along with students, startups and academics. Link 2016 takes place the first week of March and you can still get a ticket.

Nexus Youth Summit
Nexus is a global movement to bridge communities of wealth and social entrepreneurship. Nexus works to unite young investors, social entrepreneurs and allies to catalyse new leadership and accelerate global solutions. Applications have closed for the next Nexus Youth Summit Australia in March but it’s worth keeping an eye on the network of Nexus events happening around the world.

Social Enterprise Awards
The Social Enterprise Awards recognise and celebrate excellence in social enterprise in Australia. As the only national awards, this is your opportunity to tell your social enterprise story and be recognised for leading the way in addressing social, environmental or community issues. The awards take place towards the end of the year and are organised by Social Traders.

Entrepreneurs & Co
Entrepreneurs & Co hold monthly events in Melbourne which focus on how to start, fundraise for and grow a social enterprise.

Sprout Summit
Sprout Summit is a one-day event for emerging leaders who want to create positive impact by joining a non-profit board or starting their own non-profit or social enterprise. Sprout Summit will equip emerging leaders with the practical tools, processes and insights to create positive impact and drive successful change.

Their next conference is in Melbourne in July.

StartSomeGood CEO Tom Dawkins presenting at Sprout Summit last year.

StartSomeGood CEO Tom Dawkins presenting at Sprout Summit last year.

In additional to their accelerator One10 run regular events and workshops about pitching, fundraising, building product and other key entrepreneurial topics, mostly in Melbourne.

IMPACT Social Enterprise National Conference
IMPACT Social Enterprise holds a national conference in August each year for young innovators around the country to come together and engage with the idea of social enterprise. They introduce participants to the knowledge and skills required for tackling social problems with business models and innovation, and support these young people as they develop enterprises.

The first Purpose conference took place in December and was wonderful. Wildwon, the team behind it, have made no commitments about doing it again but I’m sticking this here in the hope they do. If they do you should go.