The Mill House Social Enterprise Accelerator
The Mill House Social Enterprise Accelerator delivers venture development skills and networks to enable social enterprises to become sustainable and generate social impact. GRIST accelerates the development of enterprises by validating their business models and preparing them to access capital and customers.
Through The Mill House Ventures’ high calibre networks, the program provides industry-specific expertise through business mentors from a range of organisations, as well as analytical support from The Mill House Clinic.
Social enterprises that have participated in Grist and Refine help marginalised people by generating jobs and providing solutions to community problems in areas such as health, housing, education and food security.
The Mill House’s Social Enterprise Accelerator:
- Develops the business and impact model of enterprises
- Prepares enterprises to secure investment
- Lays the foundations for growth and customer acquisition
The Mill House Social Enterprise Accelerator Program is powered by the well regarded Melbourne based Social Traders accelerator program
Social Traders established Australia’s first social enterprise start-up accelerator program – Crunch. The key skill gaps the program sought to address included: business skills; access to connections and networks; and challenges in scaling. Between 2011 and 2017, Crunch worked with 104 enterprises, 65% of which are still trading today. Through an agreement with Social Traders – Mill House Ventures has integrated Crunch materials into its GRIST and REFINE programs.
We feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to establish a partnership with Social Traders for the delivery of this program and look forward to building on their success and bringing the program to the ACT and surrounding region. From 2019, there will be three opportunities for social ventures to engage with the Mill House Social Enterprise Accelerator: Powered by Social Traders; CATALYSE, GRIST and REFINE.
Catalyse will introduce clients to the concept of social enterprise and scalable social business models. Clients will have the opportunity to discuss their specific idea with members of the Mill House team, our students and mentors. In a friendly ‘speed networking’ format, clients will get real-time constructive feedback on their social venture business model. This includes clarifying all-important ‘next steps,’ including an opportunity to engage with the Mill House to determine suitability for GRIST or REFINE programs.
Catalyse will run as a half-day workshop offered in Canberra as well as regionally. Applications will be open to individuals, businesses and organisations with an existing or potential social venture.
The GRIST workstream is a four-month intensive that will be structured as monthly workshops complemented by mentor support. GRIST will be offered to social ventures who are committed to validating their (financial) model and impact narrative.
GRIST will run from mid-July until early November where ventures will Graduate ready for a Social Impact investment showcase.
If you are interested in GRIST for 2019 check out the Roadmap.
REFINE will be run as an incubation offering for validated social ventures on the path to growth and scale. This intensive will include 1:1 coaching from the Mill House Social Impact Strategist, access to Mill House mentors and support from the Mill House Clinic professional services and projects.
GRIST can support a strong foundation and be a pathway to REFINE, however, GRIST is not a pre-requisite for REFINE.
Applications for REFINE will be considered from mid-2019.
Social Enterprise funding and finance
We don’t offer any funding to social ventures and we don’t take any equity in your ventures. However, The Mill House Accelerator does support ventures to identify customers and make sales, and even to access other sources of finance, whether through loans, grants or equity investment (angel and Venture Capital). We support you in the financial modelling which is essential for raising finance and also introduce you to the right people.
There are several finance options available to social entrepreneurs. We’ll help you decide whether you need external finance and can connect you to potential investors, grant-making bodies, lenders and others.
SERVICE ONE Social Enterprise Loan Scheme
Service One, as a social enterprise themselves and supporter of the Mill House Ventures, provides a range of banking products and services to help you manage the financial needs of your business. They offer flexible loan finance up to $25,000 for ventures with viable business plans. They also offer Transactional banking and accounting feeds as well as Point-of-sale solutions to help you scale your ventures.