The Darebin City Council’s Social Enterprise grants program seeks to support our local social enterprises and help them to establish and grow through investment in equipment, projects, infrastructure and capacity building.
A total grant allocation of $40,000 is available for the financial year 2019/ 2020. Individual amounts of up to $10,000 could be made available depending on eligibility criteria and strength of application.
There is both a thriving and emerging group of social enterprise businesses in Darebin. Through these, council priorities focusing on improving the wellbeing of people in our community, supporting and attracting a diversity of local businesses, leading on equity and creating a sustainable city, are addressed in very practical ways. As a result our community is strengthened, employment is bolstered and marginalised groups are given more of a voice.
Grants will be offered in three different streams – start-up, expansion and quick response grants.
“Social enterprises are businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide marginalised people access to employment and training or help the environment”
Eligibility for funding is consistent with the criteria applied in Darebin's Community Grants Program. For more information refer to the Darebin Community Grants Program Information Booket 2019 - 2020.
For full details on Eligibility Criteria, Definitions of priority groups, and Assessment criteria, please see the attached document.
Briefly, to be eligible an applicant must:
- Have a registered Australian Business Number (ABN) or provide evidence of intent to register
- Be located or commit to locate within the City of Darebin municipality
- Have evidence of an appropriate legal structure such as a sole trader, Australian registered company, company limited by guarantee, business cooperative, charitable enterprises that operate a business model which generates revenue, or philanthropic organization
- Or - have written evidence that you are moving towards becoming one of the above
- Pursue a social purpose expressed through a stated mission and vision that aligns with Darebin Council priorities and goals (see below)*
- Be able to demonstrate benefits to the community of the City of Darebin, beyond the support of the individual organization
- Evidence of a bank account in the name of the applicant (or the organisation providing support)
- A work plan detailing how the project will be undertaken to ensure that it can be completed within the funding period
- Be able to provide evidence of public liability insurance*
Applications will be accepted from not-for-profit organisations and for-profit businesses. However, at the forefront of your activities will be the strength of your social purpose as expressed through a stated mission and vision and how that aligns with Darebin Council priorities and goals*
Consideration will be given to those applications which have some level of matched funding from the applicant either financially or in-kind.
Please note, those applicants who have already received, or will receive, in excess of $20,000 in funding for projects or activities in financial year 2019/ 2020 either through other grant programs or through the Council budget submission process.
Individual grants of between $1000 to $10,000 are available. Three categories are offered:
- social enterprise start-up
- social enterprise expansion
- social enterprise quick response grants
(individual amounts up to a maximum of $5,000 available)
Start-up grants are designed to assist social enterprises in accelerating the establishment of their business. Under this category, applicants will be expected to be planning to generate the majority of their funding from other sources, in addition to the social enterprise grant. It is expected that as part of the application process, applicants in this category would have engaged in a pre-application meeting with Council officers or have met with Darebin Council Economic Development staff.
In addition to the grant eligibility criteria, applicants for start-up grants must:
- Be able to demonstrate why and how their business concept will be successful, including showing a strong point-of-difference
- Be able to demonstrate long-term financial viability as evidenced by a basic business plan including basic projected financial statements for the first two years of operation
- Be able to commence the business activity within 12 months following approval of the grant
- Details of the relevant business-related skills you and others involved in the social enterprise have to help support the business planning process and the future establishment of the social enterprise
- A clear explanation of why a social enterprise model is the best model for the proposed organisation/activities
- Be able to clearly state the enterprise’s particular social purpose as defined by a Mission and/or Vision statement:
- demonstrate how the enterprise will achieve the stated social purpose and be able to report on progress towards meeting that purpose or goal
- if the enterprise is based on an employment model explain how the new enterprise will support people in employment or self-employment from identified disadvantaged and marginalised groups*
- outline the ongoing and long-term practicality of achieving the stated social purpose, for example: how long does the applicant plan to operate the business?
A social enterprise may receive only one start-up grant.
(individual amounts of up to a maximum of $10,000 available)
Expansion grants are designed to assist with the growth of existing social enterprises.
Expansion is defined as:
- an existing social enterprise operating in the City of Darebin municipality that plans to introduce a new or additional activity, product or service in Darebin
- an existing social enterprise that intends to relocate to or within the municipality as part of its expansion.
In addition to the grant application criteria listed above, applicants for social enterprise expansion grants must:
- be able to demonstrate why and how the business expansion will be successful, including showing a strong point-of-difference
- have a level of business or community program delivery success, supported by financial documentation
- be able to undertake the planned expansion within 12 months following approval of the grant
- be able to clearly state the enterprise’s particular social purpose (as defined by a Mission and Vision statement) to date and demonstrate a level of success in pursuing that purpose
- demonstrate how the expansion will achieve the stated social purpose and be able to report on progress towards that achieving that purpose or goal
- explain how the expanded enterprise will better achieve outcomes from one or more of Council’s stated priorities and goals (see below)
- demonstrate the ongoing and long-term practicality of achieving the stated social purpose, for example:
- how long does the applicant plan to operate the expanded business?
- does the applicant intend for employees to transition from the expanded business to other forms of employment and, if so, how and when?
A social enterprise may receive only one expansion grant.
Applicants for expansion grants will be expected to have other sources of funding, in addition to the social enterprise grants and be able to provide evidence that they are generating revenue from sources other than fundraising.
Quick Response grants (five individual grants available annually)
One off grants of up to $1000 to fund a project or activity that assists in the start up or expansion of a social enterprise. These can be applied for at any time during the financial year but only until the allocation of $5k is exhausted.
Note: These are to be released after the Start Up and Expansion grants have been allocated.
Funding may be used for:
• Fees for onboarding of interns/ volunteers/ work placement students
• Limited plant and equipment purchase (eg coffee machine, kitchen equipment, tools and cleaning equipment)
• Capacity building training (with recognised training providers, qualified consultants and/ or Learn Locals)
• Marketing, advertising, publicity and promotional costs
• Materials and other items essential to a project or activity
• Transport costs for project participants
• Costs to support participation of people with a disability or house bound elderly people.
Funding may not be used for:
• Outstanding loans and debts
• Religious functions
• Gift vouchers, prizes and trophies
• To pay rent or rates
• Subscription or membership fees for other organisations
Public Liability Insurance
In order to receive a Social Enterprise Grant, all applicants are required to have Public Liability Insurance with $20 million cover (this may be reassessed on a case by case basis). A current copy of the groups Public Liability Insurance Certificate should be attached to their Community Grant application.
How will the Grant Application be Assessed?
Council assesses each application on its merits via a panel process. Applications are to be completed using the Smarty Grants application process and eligible applications will be assessed using the questions and criteria on the attached document.
Special consideration may be given to those projects and activities which are co-funded by the organisation either financial or inkind.
Have you read the attached Eligibility Criteria?
Have you seen the Community Grants Program Information Booklet?
Are you clear on the definitions of priorities?
Then you're ready to apply from Monday October 7 by logging on to SmartyGrants online
Still have questions about the process? Contact Darebin Council's Community Grants Officer on 8470 8504 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Still have questions about Social Enterprises or eligibility? Contact Philip O'Brien from the Economic Development team on 8470 8602 or email@example.com