Four social enterprises – Jigsaw, The Bread & Butter Project, YMCA ReBuild and STREAT – will be the first to benefit from a new collaborative funding model led by Westpac Foundation.
The new collaborative funding model aims to create more jobs for vulnerable Australians. Westpac Foundation and nine other organisations will invest $1.75 million in these employment-focused social enterprises to help scale their businesses to create an estimated 850 new employment and training opportunities over the next two years.
Each organisation will receive between $350,000 and $600,000 in multi-year funding, as well as ongoing non-financial support such as pro-bono legal and financial services.
Westpac Foundation’s decision to invest funds in four social enterprises is part of its 2030 strategy, focusing on deeper, more collaborative partnerships to drive greater impact.
Funders working collaboratively
New to the approach this year is the introduction of additional funders to help the organisations scale more effectively.
The Bryan Foundation, Berg Family Foundation, Scanlon Foundation, Gandel Philanthropy, Social Traders, MinterEllison, Partners Group Impact (Verein) and two private family foundations are the nine collaborators for this round of funding.
“Working more collaboratively with multiple funders and organisations reduces the pain points in the funding process for these businesses,” says Susan Bannigan, CEO of Westpac Foundation. “They are able to work with a single point of contact rather than many different funding partners, and together we can streamline our support and leverage our networks to help these organisations have the greatest impact,” she says.
“There is a real appetite for collaboration to support employment-focused social enterprise. We welcome potential funders and organisations who also believe employment is a pathway out of disadvantage. This is the first of many collaborations we plan to undertake to drive job creation for vulnerable Australians,” says Bannigan.
A proven track record
All four enterprises have a proven track record for job creation and are ready for their next stage of growth.
For example, the collaborative funding approach will enable Sydney-based social enterprise Jigsaw, an organisation that trains and transitions people with disability into sustainable, award wage employment, to expand its business to a second location in Brisbane.
Jigsaw’s relationship with Westpac Foundation started in 2016 when the organisation received $300,000 in funding to help grow its Sydney operations. The organisation will now receive $200,000 over two years from Westpac Foundation, a $400,000 social investment loan over five years from The Bryan Foundation, as well as pro-bono legal services from MinterEllison. They will also have the support of the QLD Government in securing a suitable site for the business.