Applications are now open for the Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant. The program was started 6 years ago by Impact Investing Australia (IIA), and so far it has supported more than 70 organisations. It’s awarded over $6.8 million in growth grants, with recipients going on to raise more than $143 million. 

The Growth Grants are designed to help social enterprises scale their business and their mission. Funds are to be used for business, financial and legal support that’s vital to build a sustainable business, but which are often out of reach when a business is finding its feet.

And of course a boost in the growth of social enterprises has flow-on effects to helping investors as it increases the quality of potential deal-flow.

“Our Growth Grants program recognises the potential for impact investing to change the way Australia addresses social issues and the important role access to capital can play in delivering better outcomes for people and communities,” said Bruce Campbell, COO of Impact Investing Australia.

A social enterprise will need to partner with a ‘provider’ who has the skills and expertise to help the business develop its financial modelling, investment documents, information memorandum and investor engagement. 

According to IIA ​​Growth Grant recipients, who have managed to raise capital, achieved an average leverage of 20 times the value of the grant. They target applicants seeking leverage of at least five times the grant value in capital raised.

Common Ground is an example of a grant recipient who went on to successfully raise capital. The company used the funding to expand its farm facilities and programs for disadvantaged and vulnerable locals, including asylum seekers.

It’s a regenerative agriculture farm that produces locally grown food for the community, while also offering training and employment pathways. 

The layers of impact go deep. The primary layer is to provide food, along the way it builds a work-force and offers employment, and then more long term it’s creating a sense of community and dignity around work, food security and building a bond with the land. 

Grants are available until June 2022 and applications are by invitation only. Interested parties should submit their Expression of Interest to Impact Investing Australia by 15 March 2022.

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