Melbourne-based social enterprise accelerator One10 has opened a new office in Sydney to commercialise more purpose-driven businesses. The launch in Sydney is part of One10’s aim to increase the uptake of socially and environmentally responsible practices and build out more of these products and services both nationally and globally.
Founder of One10, Geoff Gourley said the accelerator is on a mission to enable 1,000 businesses and startups to grow in the social enterprise sector.
“Our goal is to increase the deal flow for impact investments, so that impact investing is no longer a niche area, but a mainstream practice by both individual and corporate investors.”
Entrepreneurs who take part in One10’s accelerator program also have access to Gourley’s $100 million Impact Investment Fund. In December last year Gourley said he and his partners decided to fund the program in order to support Australian entrepreneurs trying to positively impact social and environmental change through business.
“Businesses are increasingly looking to social and environmental benefits in addition to shareholder equity as benchmarks for performance. We need to support these organisations in their infancy to avoid losing innovation to overseas investment,” Gourley said.
Since last year One10 has been commissioned for 11 capital raises totalling more than $15 million in funding and has coached more than 35 clients on commercialisation and business, strategy, and development.
The issues Australian-based enterprise clients are addressing include environmental degradation, homelessness, health and obesity, gender equality, poverty, isolation of seniors and the lack of agriculture venture for young people. To improve these issues on a wider and diverse basis One10 has worked with Kenya, Vanuatu, India and throughout parts of Asia.
“Social enterprise has been emerging in the Australian landscape for over a decade now, but the past two years have seen a profound growth of social enterprise startups. In a time of worsening social inequality, exclusion, and underrepresentation of cultural minorities, this is unsurprising,” said Gourley.
“An increasing number of people are turning to business solutions that tackle society’s biggest challenges, and with this shift comes a great need for specialised support systems and infrastructure for the purpose-driven enterprise, not-for-profit and social impact sectors.”
One10 works with startups within the social enterprise sector and takes them through all stages of business from seed through to scale to create high-growth, high impact businesses. For not-for-profits One10 looks towards a more commercial lens to reduce the dependency on grant and government funding.
Earlier this week the Turnbull Government announced a $15 million investment into the $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda’s Incubator Support Program to drive support within the startup ecosystem. Initially given $8 million, the Incubator Support Program’s funding will be increased to boost the number of startup incubators and accelerators in Australia, particularly in regional areas, and support existing “high performing” programs.
The proposed initiative will look to help attract ‘experts in residence’ to provide specialist advice to startup businesses, and give new and existing incubators and accelerators access of up to $500,000 in funding.
As a leading accelerator program for social enterprises in Australia, One10 will continue to connect startups with industry leaders and mentors in entrepreneurship programs like Deakin, Swinburne and CSIRO. The proposed funding from the Government is a step in the right direction for encouraging more accelerators to boost the quality and output of entrepreneurs and provide sufficient coworking spaces to inspire collaboration among industries and social sectors.
The launch of the Sydney office also coincides with One10’s investment into Sydney-based social enterprise Promise or Pay. The startup provides a platform for people to set goals based on something they would like to achieve, whether that be exercise, reading or diet goals and once that goal is reached a donation from family and friends goes to a charity of choice.
With One10’s investment Promise or Pay will upgrade its corporate platform to enable blue chip corporates to set goals for their employees and if those goals are met donations are given to charity.
“We’re really excited to have Promise or Pay on board, they’re a fantastic enterprise with huge potential for scale -exactly the type of enterprise we look to take into the accelerator,” said Gourley.
Recently One10 also announced investment into healthtech startups, having received a high number of applications in that space. In March One10 invested in Melbourne-based healthtech startup Health Delivered to assist dieticians manage their clients. The investment came as a mutually beneficial deal and Gourley said this startup is just one of many One10 looks to invest into as a way to increase the number of high growth startups in healthtech and also cleantech.
One10 takes accelerator applications on a rolling basis so social enterprises can pitch their business ideas all year round.
Image: Geoff Gourley and Team. Source: Supplied.