Share this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInGoogle+Email to someone

Accelerator Program


Want to accelerate your social enterprise or drive social innovation? We can help you make it happen.


In 2015 the 4-month Accelerator Program will run in both Melbourne and Sydney (July – October) to provide an exciting opportunity for up to 20 passionate individuals in each location.

Participants will work collaboratively with a talented team of SSE Australia experts, business leaders and seasoned entrepreneurs to grow their innovative social enterprise or develop socially innovative initiatives.

At SSE Australia you will learn and apply the business and leadership practices required to grow and scale your venture, to deliver sustainable social impact, in an inspiring, supportive and challenging environment.

SSE Australia gave me time to think critically and reflect on my existing skills; then build on the gaps I identified… – Steve Williams, SEED Parks and Property Maintenance

Accelerator Programs started in July, 2015.

Australia’s leading experts, mentors and thought-leaders. All at your fingertips.


What is the Accelerator Program?

The Accelerator Program drives social entrepreneurs and organisational changemakers to new levels of leadership and organisational growth. Each Accelerator Program is made up of core face-to-face elements offered in 12 full days over a 4-month period with additional self-paced activities to be completed throughout the Program.

  • Twelve core workshop days (including four Action Learning Days) with training in: Business model canvas, business planning, market analysis, value proposition, lean start-up methodology, financial practices, social impact methodologies, legal practices, enterprise leadership and human resources, attracting investment, communications, sales, marketing and pitching.
  • A minimum of four face-to-face mentor meetings with a senior executive matched to your individual and organisation’s developmental needs.
  • Free access to SSE Australia masterclasses and webinars during the Program for further training and development.
  • Access to SSE’s exclusive network, including philanthropy, impact investment and corporate partnerships.

During the Program you will hear from leading experts from across Australia, engage with senior-level advisors and interact in eye-witness sessions that provide an unparalleled insight into the world of social enterprises and business.

Applications for the Accelerator Programs in Sydney and Melbourne have now closed and the programs commenced in July, 2015. For more information about upcoming SSE Australia programs email

What is the Program Schedule?


Setting Your Vision, and Matching Your Product to Market
Business Models and Planning and Live Speed-Pitching
Social Impact Methodologies and Planning
Action Learning Set

Increasing Your Sales through Marketing and Communications
Customer Centered Design
Branding, Marketing, Sales and Media Relations
Action Learning Set

Managing Operations, Finances, HR and Risk Efficiently
Partnerships and Legal Advice
Fundraising and investment
Action Learning Set

Final Action Learning Set
Leadership and Governance
Transforming your Pitch to Investors and Collaborators

Introducing your Accelerator Program Learning Facilitator:

Paul Metcalfe’s commitment to the social sector is extensive and ongoing including involvement in the School for Social Entrepreneurs (as a Fellow in 2012, as a mentor in 2013-2014, and as a Learning Facilitator in 2015), The Centre for Sustainability Leadership, The Welcome Dinner Project, Manly Life Saving Club and his own social enterprise, Rethinkers – experiential events linking Indigenous stories with the latest thinking in arts, science, business and social enterprise to lift, shift, make and shake into action on social and sustainability issues.

Previously Paul was Director, Investor Relations, South East Asia and Pacific at United Way Worldwide, the world’s largest NGO where he got to mesh global Fortune 500 relationships with individual country needs. Along the way he produced regional and local events, disaster response fundraising for schools, micro-finance and social enterprises, training presentations in Korea and USA, board level strategy presentations, account management, the creation of regional online training seminars and was the Asia lead in numerous global initiatives.

To the role of Learning Facilitator Paul brings experience in small and large businesses, NGOs and social enterprises, a passion for relationship development, strategic planning, product development, a love of presenting, networking and business development, cultural understanding, active listening, a willingness to continually develop his leadership style and collaboration skills, and a can-do approach in order to benefit the social entrepreneurs SSE Australia supports.

Where will the Program be delivered?

The Accelerator Program will be delivered in Sydney or Melbourne (depending on the location you select) with a part-time schedule and additional self-paced components, so that interstate participants can attend.

The part-time schedule also enables participants to implement the knowledge gained back into their organisation during the Program, as well as providing capacity for other work commitments.

Applications for the Accelerator Programs in Sydney and Melbourne have now closed and the programs commenced in July, 2015. For more information about upcoming SSE Australia programs email

What are the costs involved?

The Accelerator Programs are limited to 20 participants in each Program and cost $5,500 (GST inclusive) per participant. Some of our students’ costs are reduced with the support of our partners who provide very generous scholarships.

Bursaries available:

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) has generously supported SSE Australia to enable five sustainability-focused social entrepreneurs to join the Sydney Accelerator Program with a 75% bursary.

OEH logo



Am I eligible?

To take part in the Accelerator Program you must:

  • Have an innovative social venture that can demonstrate at least 25% of the revenue will be derived from trading income; OR
  • Work within an established organisation seeking to deliver socially innovative projects that benefit disadvantaged Australian groups, and seeking to drive a trading income from this project.
  • Demonstrate passion, drive and commitment to the social venture – whether it is leading a new enterprise or innovating from within an established organisation (private/public/community).
  • Have conducted thorough research on the venture and can demonstrate the need and market opportunity.
  • Demonstrate a high level of personal effectiveness and ingenuity.
  • Be available for all 12 Program days in either Sydney or Melbourne.

What is expected of me?

In addition to attending the 12 set face-to-face Program days and flexible one-on-one meetings with SSE staff and your mentor, we expect that you will work on your venture at least two days per week. It is essential that you have dedicated time to work on your venture and therefore it is not recommended that students have full time jobs that are unrelated to their social enterprise.

You will need a good level of personal resilience. Our experience has shown that our students put their passion and drive behind their ventures and they need to be able to work through the emotions that may emerge throughout the learning process. You also need to be able to take on feedback from your peers within a small and large group setting.

How do I apply for the Accelerator Program?

Applications for the Accelerator Programs in Sydney and Melbourne have now closed and the programs commenced in July, 2015. For more information about upcoming SSE Australia programs email

Who is SSE Australia?

The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Australia is a not-for-profit organisation and the global-leader in social enterprise development. Over 1,200 participants have completed SSE learning programs across the world.

Established in Australia in 2009, SSE Australia has supported the development of over 400 social enterprises nationally.