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SSE & BT Social Entrepreneur Incubator


Preparing you to launch a social venture that benefits your community.


The SSE & BT Social Entrepreneur Incubator offers a unique combination of personal and professional support for up to 25 entrepreneurial individuals with an idea for a start-up social venture.

The 9-month Program (October 2014 to June 2015) will involve Study Blocks across four cities (Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide) so participants can benefit from SSE’s expansive network of inspiring Fellows, mentors and experts across Australia.

The SSE & BT Social Entrepreneur Incubator has been completed.

How do I apply for the Incubator Program?

Applications for the Program closed on June 11, 2014.

Where can I get more information about the Incubator Program?

Read the Program brochure (pdf: 1.2MB) and the information below for more details.

The Program offers:

  • A learning environment that is student-led, action-oriented and relevant to growing your venture.
  • Practical sessions with experienced social entrepreneurs and business people who will share with you their skills and knowledge on areas such as social impact, pitching, business planning, legal obligations and communications.
  • A dynamic network of fellow social entrepreneurs and support organisations across Australia to provide vital inspiration, encouragement and connections through the Program and beyond.

The Program involves:

  • Access to tools and resources that help build your venture.
  • Access to social entrepreneur networks in four major cities in Australia.
  • Social enterprise tours.
  • Events and gatherings around Study Blocks and in between Program sessions with interesting people from all across the entrepreneurship and enterprise space.
  • An opportunity to be mentored by experienced social entrepreneurs and business people, including staff from BT and Westpac.

Am I eligible?

You must:

  • Have an idea for a project or business with a community benefit.
  • Demonstrate passion, drive and commitment to the idea/project.
  • Have ownership of the idea/project and autonomy for decision-making.
  • Be available to commit to a 9-month Program and attend all Study Blocks in each city (a total of 13 days) and Action Learning (AL Sets) – see dates below.

Program elements:

Our Program is made up of 13 study sessions and 5 Action Learning Sets as per the schedule below. 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 are seeking people with an entrepreneurial mindset, who are committed to their mission and who understand the community they are aiming to serve.

What are the costs involved?

The full cost of the SSE & BT Social Entrepreneur Incubator is $8,800 (GST inclusive). Thanks to the generosity of BT, bursaries are available reducing the fee by 20–70%. Contact us if you’d like to discuss strategies for funding a place on the Program.

Students are also required to cover the cost of their own travel and accommodation for the Study Blocks.

What will be expected of me?

In addition to attending the face–to face Program days, Action Learning Sets and meetings with your mentor, we expect that you will work on your project at least 2 days per week.

It is essential that you have dedicated time to work on your venture to put your learning into action.

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 Social Entrepreneur Incubator 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).

Program schedule:

October 14-17, 2014SydneyBLOCK 1
Program induction, social impact part one, pitching and social enterprise tour
Introduction to Action Learning
October 29, 2014VirtualVirtual Action Learning Set with Facilitator
November 26-28, 2014BrisbaneBLOCK 2
Business model & planning, understanding the market, social enterprise tour
December 10, 2014VirtualVirtual Action Learning Set with Facilitator and some self facilitation
February 18-20, 2014MelbourneBLOCK 3
Legals & governance, money & values, attracting investment, mid way evaluation, social enterprise tour
March 4, 2015VirtualVirtual Action Learning Set with Facilitator and some self facilitation
April 9-10, 2015AdelaideBLOCK 4
Personal leadership, partnerships, communication, social enterprise tour
May 13, 2015VirtualVirtual Action Learning Set with full self facilitation
June 18-19, 2015SydneyBLOCK 5
Social impact part two, business plan, reflections, evaluation & celebration

Thanks to BT and Westpac:

BT with the support of Westpac Foundation is proud to partner with SSE Australia in running the SSE & BT Social Entrepreneur Incubator.

BT has been helping Australians prepare for the best since 1969. Today it helps thousands of customers find superannuation, investment and insurance solutions to suit their personal needs and goals. BT is also a specialist in financial advice –

Westpac Foundation is a proud supporter of social enterprise and provide opportunities to social entrepreneurs to apply for Seed funding up to $100,000.