Sydney crowdfunding platform StartSomeGood has announced a new partnership with Western Australia non-for-profit Impact Seed to stimulate the social enterprise ecosystem in Australia. The partnership will focus on helping social businesses harness the power of crowdfunding and explore new markets and opportunities.
StartSomeGood was founded in 2010 to focuses on social change initiatives to help non-profits raise the funds they need to make a difference. Since launch, StartSomeGood has helped fund over 500 projects through raising more than $5 million, with half of that raised in 2014 alone.
One of the crowdfunding platform’s most successful campaigns was the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s Food Justice Truck, which raised over $150,000 to help more than 2,000 asylum seekers each year.
“StartSomeGood was founded by social entrepreneurs for social entrepreneurs and we bring our extensive experience in cause-based fundraising to help those using our site. It’s our support that separates us from other crowdfunding platforms,” cofounder of StartSomeGood Tim Dawkins previously told Startup Daily.
With more than 50 percent of crowdfunds having a social dimension, Impact Seed saw the natural fit between crowdfunding and social business. Impact Seed is a Perth-based non-profit with a mission to connect social business founders with angel investors.
Together with StartSomeGood, Impact Seed will work on building up a pool of investment and the number of investments into social businesses that can provide a market-rate financial return to investors.
Cofounder of Impact Seed, Sven Stenvers said, “We are excited about the Australian Government’s initiatives to support crowdfunded equity as this will only amplify the potential of crowdfunding as a key seed funding source for social businesses.
Since the Turnbull Government’s Science and Innovation Agenda, the regulations on crowdsourcing have been discussed with the aim of making it easier and less expensive for startups to raise equity from the general public.
Australia’s regulatory environment has long been a barrier to the widespread adoption of crowdsourced funding, meaning that startups and small businesses are typically missing out on a wide pool of funding that could be just what they need to develop and grow their ideas.
The regulations towards crowd-sourced equity funding have been relaxed in countries like the UK and New Zealand, allowing for startups like PledgeMe to help small businesses and innovators raise the funds they need to take their products off the ground.
In November last year Small Business Minister Kelly O’Dwyer announced that the government was set to ease the regulations to allow ‘mum and dad’ investors to invest in startups and small businesses.
Since last year the government has drafted a CSEF (crowd-sourced equity funding) scheme, which should see crowdsourcing become available to Australian public companies with a turnover and gross assets of less than $5 million. The details of the scheme are soon to be released.
“We didn’t want to wait for crowdfunded equity to start helping the social businesses we work with to harness the power of crowdfunding to launch new products and explore new markets,” said Stenvers.
Image: Tom Dawkins. Source: mycelium.is.