Free practical business support for Victorian social enterprises

Centre for Social Impact

The Centre for Social Impact (CSI) Swinburne’s Social Startup Studio has today announced free new clinics for Victorian social enterprises to support the sector following the devastating impacts of the Victorian bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CSI Swinburne Social Startup Studio Clinics will offer up to 16 hours of free, one-on-one practical support from mid- August 2020 to existing social enterprises in Victoria who are experiencing the negative impacts of 2020’s events. The support provided by the Studio team and network of Social Enterprise Advisors will include financial forecasting, business model re-design, implementation support and more.

Studio Manager Kate Saporta said that these new Clinics are essential to help social enterprises respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and remain sustainable as restrictions toughen across Victoria.

“With increasing restrictions across Victoria, many social enterprises find themselves operating in survival mode. When we finally emerge from this pandemic, we need our social enterprises to be equipped with the right tools, strategies and tactics to keep their organisation strong and sustainable. There are already, and will continue to be, many Australians seeking help from social enterprises.”

Programs Manager Julie Tucker said the Clinics program has been designed to help build impactful and practical support for social enterprises.

“The Social Startup Studio offers support to build sustainable social enterprises. They are essential to support communities in need. That’s why the Clinics are so important for the social enterprise sector – particularly in Victoria where we are seeing more businesses and organisations close due to COVID-19 restrictions and more Victorians in need of supports,” Ms Tucker said.

From September, the Social Startup Studio will be launching the Social Enterprise Fundamentals; a set of free resources that provide the ‘nuts and bolts’ of starting and running a social enterprise.

The Studio is also recruiting a team of Social Enterprise Advisors to strengthen and support the work of the Studio Clinics and is inviting expressions of interest from individuals with deep, practical experience in social enterprise.

“We’re actively building our Social Enterprise Advisors Network to ensure that we can provide strategic, evidence-based practical support to help social enterprises across Victoria remain strong and sustainable as the pandemic evolves,” Ms Tucker said.

The Studio Clinics are supported by the Victorian Government’s Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.

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