Global social entrepreneur, Geoff Gourley, recently launched One10, a new national incubator and accelerator for social enterprise, developed and headquartered in Melbourne. He also announced a strategic sponsorship with professional services company Ernst & Young (EY).
One10 is designed uniquely and specifically to support the needs of socially and environmentally focused start-ups and the NFP/profit-for-purpose sector.
Participants will work with consultants and mentors in a variety of disciplines and access a network of like‐minded industry experts plus angel investors and VCs.
This includes the recently formed, Impact Investment Fund, a $100 million dollar wholesale fund specifically aimed at Impact Investment, co‐founded by Gourley and partners in June 2015.
“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,” he said.
“My partners and I have funded and started the program and the fund to support Australian entrepreneurs trying to positively impact social and environmental change through business.”
Over the last 22 years Gourley has operated in the design, property, environmental, energy and technology industries, developing, commercialising and managing numerous businesses.
He is also a Board Member of The Unstoppables and immediate past Board Director of United Nations Association of Australia (Vic).
What exactly will One 10 do?
The goal of One10 is to get its participants connected with expertise, networks and be investible by the end of the 12‐week, tailored program.
One10 also offers seed funding and seeks to hold equity in most enterprises.
Limited opportunities also exist for investors or angels to get involved in the expansion phase of the One10 model and enquiries should be directed through the website contact form.
In addition to consulting and capital raising, One10 is also set to launch their own dedicated social enterprise co-‐working spaces in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Gold Coast and Perth.
Each co-working cluster will be set in the heart of their respective CBDs to leverage the expertise of surrounding industry. One10 will facilitate access to industry thought leaders to help profit for purpose businesses in the program. In addition, a digital mentor/mentee platform will be implemented to further support participants.
“Our goal is to design a co‐working space for entrepreneurs enabling easy access to services that otherwise would be out of reach,” Gourley highlighted.
“By leveraging economies of scale, we can create an environment that has everything you would need to start and support the ongoing operations of a social enterprise including; marketing experts, digital agency, accountants, legal advice, and administrative services.
“We want to create a space where you can walk down the hall to get immediate advice. Connected expertise is what we are about.
“We’ve already received and interviewed over 50 potential participants from businesses that have a positive social and/or environmental impact at their core.
“This just confirms that there is a gap in the market for this type of service. There is so much innovation locally in Australia, it would be a shame for us to lose creative and impactful ideas just because they couldn’t find the right support network.”
Attracting significant support
Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis recently visited the Melbourne-based incubator and welcomed plans by One10 to create a dedicated support platform for social entrepreneurs to develop and commercialise their ideas.
Minister Dalidakis said, “Providing local start-ups, social entrepreneurs and not-for‐profits access to industry experts, networks and investment opportunities will help to address the important social and environmental issues in our Victorian communities.”
“Organisations like One10 have an important role in building the sector’s capacity and developing innovative and technology based solutions to these problems.”
EY will sponsor One10 to help them grow their incubator community. EY will work with One10 to provide a range of services, experience and connections to promote and improve the skills of its community, leveraging the skills of EY’s global network.
One of the aims of the sponsorship is to help One10 participants create new relationships with financiers, customers, potential partners and acquirers to help them achieve their business goals.
One10 will be a complete solution for social enterprise providing access to capital, consulting services, and a physical office space to foster innovation in profit for purpose business.
Introductory workshops are planned for February 2016 with the first set of incubator participant’s starting the program in early 2016. Applicants interested in applying should head over here.