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Newsletter 2 - March 2017
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We're Growing

In a month of new things, we're excited to announce a new program, a new partnership and a new board member!

Building our Board



 
Chris Nurse, a CIO50 Top Innovator and former Head of Technology Transformation at Telethon Kids Institute has joined the Impact Seed board, bringing many years strategic technology deployment experience to our team. Chris is also Co-Founder and CTO of NamSource.
In Chris' words: "Impact Seed is a part of my personal growth journey to support social business building. Having transformed technology at Telethon Kids Institute I've been seeking a position to continue to make a difference. I'm excited and inspired by the vision that Sven and Kylie created for social impact investment in WA".

We're thrilled to have Chris join us as a Director and Technology Advisor with all the synergies this brings to our capacity building journey and benefits for our founder community.

Game Changing Tech Partnership with NamSource

NamSource - a WA Social Business founded by Chris Nurse and his Co-Founder/CEO, Thanh Ngo - exists to build technology for social impact.  Our new strategic partnership with NamSource means that the NamSource team will be powering Impact Seed's own tech platforms, supporting the development requirements of our social business founders, and through our acceleration support of NamSource, Impact Seed has taken an equity position in NamSource.  

The app development experience and and cost benefits NamSource bring to Impact Seed's founder community, social startups, and the NFP sector broadly are game changing, delivering tech development at significantly reduced costs and time to deployment, enabling organisations to focus service delivery and creating more runway for startups.

This partnership will drive all the synergy that exists between our two organisations, while Impact Seed's equity stake in NamSource also empowers Impact Seed towards its own goal of financial sustainability.

To learn more about our technology partnership with NamSource, get in touch.

Social Business Survey - Results Snapshot


Thanks to everyone who took the time to complete last month's survey.  The information we gathered about your experiences, pain points and gaps are vital to informing Impact Seed's focus and priorities.  A snapshot of the main points you've agreed are important to you are as follows:

  • Things you like about Impact Seed:
    • The connections and referrals
    • Advice and support on incorporation for social impact and aligned marketing strategy
    • Tailored one one mentoring and business development support
  • Things you really want more of:
    • Learning spaces/collaboration workshops with like minded social businesses
    • More pitch opportunities with a social business focus
    • Help developing tailored social impact measurement metrics
    • More impact investors and mission-driven stakeholders
  • General feedback
    • Business model validation:  Current ecosystem support mechanisms provide excellent networks, mentoring and connections and a good level of marketing support, but some programs are seen as either too pitch-heavy, too tech-heavy, or lacking focus on thoughtful ideation, re-ideation, and re-validation
    • Accelerator programs: Many founders are taking part in multiple accelerator programs..to keep funding rolling and fulfill needs which were unmet from other accelerators.  
    • The desire for a bespoke social business-specific development program came through strongly.

We are listening, and working on several initiatives which will deliver capacity where it's needed, specifically in the area of validation, acceleration and funding.  If you have any more feedback, please let us know.

CoCre8.. a new Impact Seed program

 
Community Innovation Realised

Innovation in WA is often disconnected from local communities, especially regional and remote communities, work-at-home parents, or businesses located outside the CBD.

The current innovation model also very tech-centric, with a desire to create the next ‘unicorn’ rather than agnostic leverage of tech and social innovation frameworks to create sustainable businesses, financial returns, and social impact, aiding local economies and creating opportunities within local communities.

Impact Seed’s CoCre8 program is run within community incubators in conjunction with local councils to create a community innovation ecosystem tailored for local communities and the challenges they face such as isolation, social exclusion, and the financial/brain-drain to the metropolitan capital CBD hubs.

CoCre8 is part of a comprehensive program designed to develop innovative solutions to social problems within a local community context.

“Impact Seed’s approach builds capacity in the community to identify problems and deliver solutions that the community is engaged with”

Developing solutions within communities, and enterprise matching to local proponents including business, council, and community service organisations – catalyses potential to:

  • Create alternative revenue streams in the case of NFPs (via Social Business integration)
  • Aid economic development of WA local and regional communities
  • Deliver partnership opportunities for private impact co-investors
  • Deliver tangible, measurable social impact through profit-for-purpose models.


To learn more about CoCre8 innovation in your community or partner in the community innovation collective, get in touch.

Missed out last newsletter?  Click here

Our 10 Most Interesting Articles of the Month


We’ve trawled the innards of the internet to bring you a curated look at the world of impact investment, innovation, social businesses, critical thought and reflection, with a smattering of events and news.

 
  1. Over a third of startup incubators nationally target social impact according the Startup Muster survey.  This of course, is as it should be, but WA is behind. http://www.impactseed.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Startup-Muster-2016-Report.pdf
  2. Come on WA. Why is it still 'wait awhile' for impact investment after all these years getting caned by eastern states? http://www.socialtraders.com.au/news-and-events/new-era-social-enterprise-victoria/
  3. Ways in which govt can use zero-cost policy signals to drive impact investment is the focus of Impact Seed's submission to the Federal Government's Social Impact Investing Discussion Paper January 2017 at http://www.impactseed.org/advocacy
  4. Fantastic work by our friends at The Difference Incubator​ on a great project profiled on SBS News​ http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/02/07/samoan-economy-riding-wave-coconut-trend

  5. A boom trend in companies 're-branding' their #CSR to "Social Impact". Companies going outside their core business to solve global problems. Govt tax breaks to fix things - creating a circular economy - instead of throwing them to landfill. All catching the global impact investment wave www.forbes.com/sites/susanmcpherson/2017/01/19/6-csr-trends-to-watch-in-2017/amp
  6. Your business is an employer, a source of income for families. It has purchasing power that can support (or negatively impact) communities and causes you care about; Your business’s activities and products affect the environment, and rely on it. 

    Government alone can't or won't solve the problems facing us; for the marginalised and at-risk.  Our businesses are powerful tools and we must play the leadership role in making the case that economic justice for all is inextricably tied to, and dependent on, social and environmental justice. https://medium.com/@bthechange/your-business-should-be-a-force-for-good-an-open-letter-to-business-leaders-b6909beab17f#.qhe5ezdcr
  7. Without validation, you risk of creating a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist.  Revenue, pilots and case studies with MOU's and letters of intent are everything...  If you're not there yet, try these first. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/287878
  8. "Expanding the innovation agenda to broaden its focus from simply technology. Social innovation, impact investing – all areas that I am keen to explore as Treasurer and as Minister for Aboriginal Affairs" is what WA Shadow Treasurer Ben Wyatt​ had to say during the Treasurers debate on 8th February http://www.ceda.com.au/digital-hub/videos/two-treasurers-wa
  9. Regional communities represent a microchosm of all things social impact, but regional startups need more than 'small business' support..they need different development help, ie.  validation, MVP and scaling help to commercialise their their innovation ideas. http://siliconpaddock.community/2017/02/how-australia-can-support-regional-innovation/
  10. "We want to lift up those entrepreneurs who leverage their skills to develop their local economies, serve their communities, and promote socially responsible business practices.  Not all profits are created equal."  http://www.forbes.com/sites/devinthorpe/2016/11/10/social-entrepreneur-creates-nobel-prize-for-business-focused-on-social-responsibility/#25c522477719
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