The School of Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Australia has committed to raise $1.5 in the first five years of an initiative called Partnering for Scale & Impact (PSI) during its launch to the Australian business, financial and philanthropic community.
The initiative will help form and grow fledging social enterprises with promise into robust, self-sustaining and profitable entities by wrapping advisors, expert support, networks, and importantly, money around selected social enterprises.
SSE Australia Chair, Paul Bide, believes that the social capital market for more developed social enterprises is better established than the market for earlier stage ventures. The impact investing market, for instance, has received Federal Government support of $20m through the SEDIF program that was matched by three impact funds managers with private sector money. There is also a G8 sponsored Impact Investing development initiative in which Australia has a role.
“Foundations and philanthropic capital providers generally find it easier to donate money to more established, less risky ventures that are less likely to fail. This leads to a structural gap in the social capital market where higher risk, earlier stage ventures cannot find philanthropic support. Such ventures are too small or undeveloped for the impact investing market. The result is they are starved of capital and find it very hard to get off the ground”.
“PSI seeks to provide capital to those social ventures so they can take off. We want to be able to grow that kind of venture so they are de-risked and in more easy reach of those that do not have a risk appetite for start-ups” he said.
SSE Australia CEO, Celia Hodson outlined that PSI is an extension of SSE Australia’s core mission to bring a community of support and knowledge to a social entrepreneur and their enterprise.
“The sector has been in dire need of a solution that connects ventures with the capacity to develop and grow with the people who have the resources to make this happen.
“There are too many silos in our community and we are driven by the belief that a community can solve its own problems when individuals and the business, government, social and community sectors are all connected. Through our mentor, adviser and expert witness programs that deploy volunteer business and community leaders we reconnect communities and, in doing so, make them stronger.
“Collaboration is key to success. Innovative infrastructures such as PSI are required to enable early stage social and corporate entrepreneurs to benefit from the resources of the wider community to reach scale and make a significant impact” said Hodson.
In five years the PSI initiative will invest at least $1.5m directly into relatively early and still developing social enterprises. The program will seek annual commitments totalling $100,000 from individuals or collectives over 3 years. Hence the year 5 total if PSI is active on its own.
“As the early stage sector continues to grow, so too does the need for investment and engagement. It needs new sources of capital. These fledgling enterprises are providing innovative disruptive influences into the sector. We need them to flourish” said Hodson.
Find out more about SSE Australia here: http://sse.org.au