Impact Investing Australia, together with the Department of Social Services (DSS) invites social enterprises, including trading Indigenous owned or controlled organisations with a defined social benefit, to apply for a Social Enterprise Development Initiative (SEDI) Capability Building Grant of up to $120,000 each. 

Social enterprises can submit an expression of interest to be considered for a SEDI Grant from today, with several rolling grant rounds to be available until June 2026. These grants will help social enterprises grow their business, scale their impact and further their missions of creating positive social change. 

Grant funds will help social enterprises purchase capability building services from intermediaries and other businesses, such as financial services, evaluation and impact measurement, business consulting and legal advice. The initiative supports social enterprises across all states and territories who are delivering services for Australians experiencing disadvantage in a range of social outcome areas, including: communities, employment, education, health and disability, and First Nations Australians. 

“SEDI Grants will help social enterprises to further scale their efforts to support Australians facing entrenched disadvantage,” said David Hetherington, CEO of Impact Investing Australia, which will administer the SEDI Grants. 

“Social enterprises play a critical role in the broader impact investing market, and we’re excited about this opportunity to support their growth. Our goal is to help strengthen these organisations, enabling them to broaden their reach and deepen their impact for vulnerable individuals and communities.” 

There are around 12,000 social enterprises operating in Australia, employing 206,000 people and contributing an estimated $21.3 billion annually to the economy. SEDI Grants aim to bolster these enterprises, ensuring they continue to drive social innovation and support those in need. 

Grant eligibility 

Eligible SEDI Grant applicants: 

  • Are a social enterprise (see definition below) or a trading Indigenous owned or controlled organisation with a defined social benefit 
  • Have an impact in one or more of the approved Department of Social Services outcome areas (listed here) 
  • Currently provide benefit to those experiencing entrenched disadvantage in Australia 
  • Are an Australian organisation 
  • Have beneficiaries who primarily reside in Australia 
  • Have a turnover of at least $50,000 per year 
  • May be early stage but have progressed beyond the start-up phase 
  • Are seeking to scale impact (now or in the future) in one or more of the approved outcome areas to address entrenched disadvantage in Australia. 

A social enterprise is a business that puts people and planet first. It trades like any other business, but exists specifically to make the world a better place. A social enterprise seeks to solve a social or environmental problem. It can be a for-profit or non-profit organisation, or a charity that trades.

Grant process 

Organisations that believe they qualify for a SEDI Grant should submit an Expression of Interest. Impact Investing Australia will then arrange a phone conversation to discuss grant eligibility and the selection process. Organisations meeting the eligibility criteria will be invited to submit a grant application, which will be assessed by an expert panel. 

Grant timeframe

The SEDI Grants program will run through to June 2026. There will be rolling grant rounds, ensuring ample time for submissions by eligible social enterprises. Grants will be awarded based on the merit of the enterprises/projects, not on the order of application. 

More information 

More details on SEDI Grants and the application process are available here.

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