The State Government of Western Australia’s $10 million Social Enterprise Fund – Grants Program (SEF) aimed to increase the number, effectiveness and efficiency of social enterprises in Western Australia by supporting non-profit community sector organisations to establish new or strengthen existing social enterprises.

In 2012, a consortium, made up of SVA, Social Traders, Centre for Social impact (CSi), and Western Australia Council of Social Service (WACOSS), provided a support service on behalf of the Government to ensure the effective delivery of the Social Enterprise Fund. This included providing pre-investment support to social enterprises preparing to apply and aftercare business support to successful funding recipients.

The Social Enterprise Fund is now closed. If your social purpose organisation is looking for funding or support in WA, the work of the consortium continues to be pursued through the SVA WA Venture Philanthropy portfolio. The portfolio helps social purpose organisations to become stronger, more sustainable and more impactful.

The Role of the Consortium

The SEF Consortium, led by SVA, was made up of a number of organisations with experience in supporting the development of social enterprises and non-profit organisations. During the life of the fun, the consortium successfully:

  • offered advice and support to social enterprises considering applying for SEF funding
  • conducted information sessions and advice surgeries for prospective applicants
  • carried out due diligence on eligible applications on behalf of the Government
  • provided aftercare business support to successful applicants
  • worked with the State Government of Western Australia in developing the social enterprise sector in WA.

Who was supported through SEF?

The SEF was designed to encourage non-profit community sector organisations to establish new or grow existing social enterprises that will operate in Western Australia.

The SEF supported social enterprises at the different stages in their development:

  • Exploration – conducting research into the market for a social enterprise, testing feasibility and developing a business plan
  • Start-Up – launching a social enterprise and developing the ongoing sustainability of the business
  • Growth – enhancing the capacity of existing social enterprises through the development of new markets or new products.

Two streams of funding were available depending on the social enterprise’s stage of development.

  • Stream 1 – Capital for investment ready social enterprises. This funding was targeted at social enterprises at the start up or growth stage that have a clear business plan and strategy for development.
  • Stream 2 – Capacity building funding. This stream of funding was available to organisations at the planning and development stages of establishing a social enterprise. The funding was targeted at a specific piece of activity or work to help the social enterprise become investment ready.

Key stats

  • Over 550 organisations reached
  • 154 applications received across two funding rounds
  • Over $5 million in grants committed across two funding rounds
  • 40 organisations funded for capacity building
  • 21 organisations funded to commence or grow a social enterprise

Useful tools

To assist organisations to develop a business plan SVA, in partnership with Parramatta City Council, developed a business planning guide.