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SSE & BT Accelerator


Want to develop your business model to become market ready? We will help you make it happen.


After the highly successful SSE & BT Social Entrepreneur Incubator in 2015, SSE & BT are again touring the country to create social change with the SSE & BT Social Entrepreneur Accelerator, taking place from August-October 2016.

The SSE & BT Social Entrepreneur Accelerator offers a unique combination of personal and professional support for up to 18 entrepreneurial individuals with a social venture.

The Accelerator Program from August – October 2016 will involve 4 Study Blocks across Sydney and Melbourne so participants can benefit from SSE Australia’s expansive network of inspiring Fellows, mentors and experts.

How do I apply for the SSE & BT Social Entrepreneur Accelerator? 

Applications have now closed for the SSE & BT Social Entrepreneur Accelerator which starts in August 2016.

Where can I get more information about the SSE & BT Social Entrepreneur Accelerator? 

Email us at

Take the opportunity of learning and the expansive networks. The School for Social Entrepreneurs supports you long after you’ve left.”

– Sarah Martin, Blak Markets

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


The Program offers:

  • A learning environment that helps you deal with the practical issues and challenges of starting a business in an action oriented, participatory group setting that delivers knowledge relevant to growing your venture.
  • Sessions with leaders from the professional services, business and for-purpose sector who will share their practical skills, business building skills, knowledge and expertise in areas such as marketing, social impact, pitching, business planning, the law and communications.
  • Accessible learning and leadership development
  • An opportunity to connect with a community of support that will provide you with vital inspiration, encouragement, advice and networks to build on throughout the Program and beyond.

The Program involves:

  • Access to practical tools and resources that can help you build your venture.
  • Meeting social entrepreneurs from three capital cities and ability to broaden your network of support
  • Learning by doing and working side by side with peers and mentors working on your business directly
  • One on one mentoring from senior and accomplished BT and Westpac group staff and other leaders in the wider business community

Am I eligible? 

  • 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).
  • Be at pilot or scale/grow stage in your social enterprise’s lifecycle.
  • 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 and attend all 12 Program days across both Sydney and Melbourne blocks.

Program elements:

Our Program is made up of 8 study sessions and 4 Action Learning Sets. Students will also be matched with a mentor with the expectation that you will meet 4 times (for approximately 1 hour) during the Program when it is mutually convenient.

What qualifications do I need?

SSE Australia does not require applicants to have any specific qualifications. We ask only that you are enthusiastic, determined and committed – driven by your cause or project as much as driving it!

We seek people with an entrepreneurial mindset, who will positively contribute to the group experience, be curious, take advantage of opportunities and who are committed to their mission and understanding the community they are aiming to serve.

What are the costs involved?

SSE charges student fees so that we too can be a sustainable social enterprise, and continue to build capacity in the sector by educating and supporting future social entrepreneurs. BT Financial Group has financed a significant part of the costs for this program but a student contribution of $5,000 is required. So get in touch with student services to learn more about this and the program. Students are required to cover the cost of their own travel and accommodation for the study blocks. Financial support in the form of bursaries for program costs may be available for qualifying entrepreneurs.

What will be expected of me?

Let’s face it – starting up an enterprise takes work. In addition to attending the face-to-face Program days, Action Learning Sets and meetings with your mentor, we expect that you will be working on building and developing your venture throughout the program.

With this in mind, you need to plan – so you can dedicate time to put your learning into action.

We will require you to agree to attend all sessions. A significant part of the success you will have is drawn from the energy and dynamics of your peer group.

You will be required to create a business plan for your venture during the program (don’t worry we’ll help you with this).

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.

Who is this Program not suited to?

The SSE & BT Social Entrepreneur Accelerator may not be for you if you:

  • Want a theoretical understanding of social entrepreneurship.
  • Require high levels of certainty before getting in action.
  • Do not have strategies for financial and emotional sustainability for the period of the Program.
  • Have a full–time job unrelated to your venture and cannot get the time off to do the Program and work on your venture.
  • Are not able to travel to every study session (as attendance is compulsory).

About BT Financial Group –

BT Financial Group (BTFG) is the wealth management arm of the Westpac Group and has been helping Australians prepare for the best since 1969. Today it helps thousands of Australians find superannuation, investment and insurance solutions to suit their personal needs and goals. BT is also a specialist in financial advice.

About Westpac Foundation

Westpac Foundation supports not-for-profit organisations who directly provide employment pathways, educational opportunities or improve the quality of life of disadvantaged Australians. The Westpac Foundation will provide support for the SSE & BT Social Entrepreneur Accelerator through access to the Westpac Group’s networks and skilled volunteers.