Australia’s toughest social enterprise incubator is looking for 40 new companies

Australia’s toughest social enterprise incubator is looking for 40 new companies

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Bessi Graham

TDi is on the lookout for up to 40 social enterprises in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to join its 2017 Two Feet program, a six-month accelerator that last year saw two graduates secure $470,000 from private investors.

Two Feet is delivered by TDi’s team of hard-core business strategists and successful entrepreneurs, who help social enterprises workshop their business, clarify their social or environmental mission and ultimately attract impact investment.

TDi’s team and guest lecturers will cover business strategy, operations such as piloting and prototyping, marketing, finance, funding and structuring options, pitching to investors and measuring social and environmental outcomes, as well as one-on-one mentoring.

The 40 social enterprises selected for the 2017 Two Feet program will be split into four cohorts of ten – two in Melbourne, one in Sydney and one in Brisbane – for fortnightly sessions.

What is TDi looking to achieve?

TDi CEO Bessi Graham said she saw enormous potential in Australia’s social enterprises to change the world.

“By helping entrepreneurs attract private capital for public good, social enterprises can solve some of our most pressing social and environmental challenges while making a profit, and investors can help make an impact while diversifying their portfolio,” Ms Graham said.

“Two Feet is open to startups and entrepreneurs with an amazing idea, but also to growing enterprises and established businesses. The only criteria are that you must be deeply committed to making a significant social or environmental impact, and be ready to make that possible by becoming investable.”

Which startups has TDi supported so far?

Two social enterprises took on a $470,000 investment after completing the 2016 Two Feet program. Last year’s participants also scooped up some of the sector’s most esteemed accolades:

  • Zoe Black from Happy Paws Happy Hearts won the Westpac Foundation Social Change Fellowship Scholarship;
  • Nirary Dacho from Refugee Talent was named one of Business Insider’s Coolest 100 in Australian Tech;
  • Alice Brennan from SettleIn represented women in tech as a speaker at the Vogue Codes Summit;
  • Lea Schodel from Wellthy won Money Management Young Achiever of the Year.
Alice Brennan
Alice Brennan

Two Feet culminates in a national graduation ceremony and Dragons’ Den pitching competition for finalists at the end of the year. Previous winners have taken home $7,500, a spot in TDi’s Investment Readiness Program worth $150,000 and a trip to New Zealand’s Social Enterprise World Forum.

Nirary Dacho cofounder Refugee Talent

Each place in the Two Feet program is valued at $15,000, but a limited number of $5,000 spaces have been made possible through a subsidy from National Australia Bank (NAB).

Entrepreneurs are encouraged to email TDi at [email protected] to schedule an interview in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne before 3 March to assess their suitability for the program.

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