Scaling impact

An accelerator for propelling change

EOI Deadline: 12 March 2021

What is Scaling Impact?

Scaling Impact is an accelerator that helps social enterprises and purpose-driven startups
grow their business and prepare for future impact investment.

Given COVID-19, we are focused on enterprises with strong business models operating in resilient sectors.


The Impact Investment Readiness Journey

ONLINE WORKSHOP | Thursday 11th Feb 2021, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm AEDT

You’ll leave this 2 hour online workshop with:

  • A clear understanding of the impact investment landscape, the types of impact capital available and the nature of this capital
  • An appreciation of the motivations of impact investors, and how different investors view the maximisation of impact and financial return
  • An assessment of your impact investment readiness and identification of the areas where you still need work

Demo Day is the culminating event for the Scaling Impact program.

Taking place virtually on Tuesday 10 November, the inaugural and massively successful Demo Day saw the eight selected Scaling Impact social enterprises pitched to an audience of over 200 sector leaders, mentors, government and community supporters, industry partners, and impact investors.  

If you would like to connect with any of the amazing enterprises from the first Scaling Impact cohort , click here.


we’re looking for startups with


An unambiguous social or environmental intention preferably focused on disadvantage and/or employment and operating in a resilient sector

SDG Alignment

A mission aligned with one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Business Model

At least $50,000 in revenue traction and a proven business model with embedded impact

Ambition to Grow

An intention to grow and scale

EOI Deadline: 12 March 2021



20 December ’20


31 March ’21


April ’21


May ’21


May – July ’21

  • Core program


July – October ’21

  • Investment Readiness preparation and tailored advisory work

What is impact investment?

How does My startup “get ready” for it?

An impact investment is an investment made with the intention of generating a measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a financial return.

An organisation gets ready for impact investment by, amongst other things, demonstrating strong financials, good governance, proven leadership, solid business planning and modelling and the capability to measure social or environmental impact.

Unsure where your startup is on its impact investment readiness journey?

Sign up to our mailing list to access our Impact Investment Readiness Questionnaire.

Scaling Impact offers


Facilitated by experts with experience in scaling social businesses

Tailored Advisory

Access to consulting services from EY or Social Impact Hub’s Professional Impact Network

One-on-One Mentoring

Regular meetings with an assigned mentor and coaching sessions with our entrepreneur-in-residence

Pitch Support

Support on preparing for pitching at Investor Demo Night

Investment Readiness Diagnosis

Assessment of where your business is on the investment readiness journey via our sophisticated diagnostic tool and expert advice 

Co-working Space

Access to a dedicated work space at the Social Impact Hub in Sydney and in partner organisations around Australia and the world post COVID-19

Tools & Resources

Access online tools and resources such as CASE Smart Impact Capital

High Value of the Program

The in-kind value of the program is approximately $60-70,000 per enterprise

About us

Scaling Impact is an initiative of the Social Impact Hub.

The Social Impact Hub collaborates with bold, purpose-driven organisations to accelerate change. Through advice, thought leadership, education and the mobilisation of capital, we help create a world where people and the planet thrive.

We specialise in supporting social enterprises and purpose-driven businesses to design, demonstrate and scale their impact. As a leading provider for Impact Investment Ready Readiness Growth Grants, we also have deep expertise working with enterprises to prepare for and raise impact investment.

Scaling Impact team and advisory committee

Scaling Impact is a collaborative initiative designed and supported by professionals with a range of skills and expertise.

We thank our Professional Impact Network members, mentors and Advisory Committee members for the generous contribution of their time.

Our Supporters

We are very grateful for the generous support of the Sidney Myer Fund who have provided multi-year, capacity building funding to the Social Impact Hub, including for Scaling Impact. This program received grant funding from the Australian Government through the Incubator Support Initiative in the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. We thank EY for their sponsorship and for kindly providing workshop venues and in-kind advisory support. We also thank the English Family Foundation for their support of the development of the Impact Investment Readiness Diagnostic Tool.

Our collaborators

We would like to thank the following organisations for their support in referring and supporting Scaling Impact enterprises.


 “What is exceptional about the Social Impact Hub team is how much they are willing to go above and beyond expectations to help our enterprise succeed. As a result of the program, we are far more confident in our journey to become impact investment ready, and where we fit in the market.” 

Weh Yeoh
Co-Founder & CEO at Umbo

 “The Social Impact Hub team behind the Scaling Impact program are very well respected in the sector and if you have a great social enterprise model and decide impact investment is right for you then this is the accelerator for you.”

Margaret O’Brien
Co-Founder & CEO at Young Change Agents

“Scaling Impact was one of the best learning experiences we have had on our social enterprise journey, it has strengthened our foundations and skills of from which we will benefit for a long time to come. The support and expectations raised the bar, and brought us to a new level.”

Geert Hendrix
Founder and CEO at Farmwall

“The Scaling Impact Program has literally transformed our business by giving us the skills and tools we need to scale up our impact on the disability sector. But more importantly it has given us the confidence and belief that the sky is the only limit for us! A huge thank you to the exceptionally professional and passionate team at the Social Impact Hub.”

Nicole Gamerov
Founder at MyCareSpace

“A very thorough, informative and well-supported journey to becoming investment ready. The insights gleaned through this program and our ability to create a clear strategy and articulate it has been invaluable. And without doubt, it was the wonderful team at Social Impact Hub, and the other enterprises that made the program so enjoyable – we’re thrilled to have expanded our community with such smart, inspiring and caring folks. THANK YOU SOCIAL IMPACT HUB!”

Karina Seljak
Co-Founder & Director at Seljak Brand

“The Social Impact Hub team has done an excellent job of preparing us for the opportunity for impact investment. The program has motivated and energised our team by allowing us to dream big with our scale plans (instead of next step thinking only). At the same time, we’ve narrowed our focus on what growth-funding opportunities are available and learned what’s important to articulate to these audiences. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the program to any organisation looking to scale their venture.”

Pat Ryan
CEO at


Scaling Impact Program

How does the accelerator work?

If selected, you will be in a cohort of 6-12 enterprises participating in the program. Scaling Impact offers a menu of activities, delivered over a 5-month period, that build investment readiness, including:

  • Masterclasses facilitated by relevant experts
  • Investment readiness diagnostic session
  • Tailored advisory
  • 1 on 1 mentoring and coaching
  • Peer support and facilitated networking
  • Introductions to investors and opportunities to pitch
  • Co-working space

We will be running the masterclasses and investment readiness diagnostic virtually through online tools and envisage some face to face touchpoints for tailored advisory and mentoring depending on COVID-19 restrictions and your location.

All components of the program are designed around an entrepreneur’s particular goals. By the end of the program social entrepreneurs in the program will have taken concrete steps forward on the path to becoming investment ready.

What will I get out of participating in Scaling Impact?

The enterprises participating in the cohort will receive significant value, including:

  • Weekly masterclasses, facilitated by experts with experience in scaling social businesses;
  • Tailored advisory support from EY or Social Impact Hub’s Professional Impact Network;
  • Monthly meetings with a Scaling Impact mentor;
  • Entrepreneur’s personal learning path facilitated by a fortnightly 30-min Zoom call with the Enterprise Development Manager to discuss challenges, roadblocks, unlocking barriers to reach potential and to create accountability; and
  • Bookable monthly sessions with experienced entrepreneurs-in-residence through ‘coach desk’ function.

The total value of the program to each enterprise is approximately $70,000.

What are the outcomes I can expect?

By the end of the Scaling Impact program you will have materially progressed your enterprise’s readiness for impact investment. If your enterprise is impact investment ready you will have the opportunity to pitch to investors and impact investment funds at the program’s completion.

You will also have had opportunity to develop your interpersonal, communication, listening, management, and other ‘soft skills’ necessary for building your business and you will have made warm connections in the sector.

What is demo day like?

You will have the opportunity to present to impact investors on 13 - 14 October 2021 as part of the 2021 Impact Investment Summit Asia Pacific. This is the peak gathering of impact investors in the region which usually brings together 350+ investors, with around 50 international visitors in normal years.

What are my chances of being successful in raising capital at the end of the process?

The purpose of Scaling Impact program is to progress the investment readiness of all participants in the program and assist in the preparation for raising capital. We make no guarantee of a successful capital raising for any of the enterprises.

Does the program cover any travel expenses to Demo Day or any face-to-face events?

All travel will be at the enterprises' own expense.

What are the international connections I can gain?

You will have the opportunity to present to international impact investors at Demo Day at the Impact Investment Summit Asia Pacific which usually attracts approximately 50 international investors.

You will also have tailored advice from EY that can be focused on how to access new markets. EY will leverage their global network of 700 locations in over 150 countries to support participating startups.

If enterprises wish to enter emerging/developing high growth economies in Africa, Asia or Latin America, they will receive support from Grameen.

If the enterprise is focused on young people or employment, Save the Children have committed to provide entrepreneurs with access to Save the Children’s global networks and office space.

COVID-19 may impact the ability to realise some of these international connections.


What will the tailored advisory look like? What can I expect to receive from it?

The tailored advisory will involve enterprises working with highly skilled professionals from both EY and our Professional Impact Network on areas of your business where bespoke support is required with the aim of becoming technically ready for impact investment. The Impact Investment Readiness diagnostic will help inform where you need tailored advisory support.

What does the EY mentoring involve and how does it differ from the tailored advisory part of the program?

As part of the program, you will be matched with an EY senior staff member, who will work with you on your personal development and growth and help you develop your communication, stress management, resilience and management skills. The mentors are selected carefully for their skill sets that are relevant to each enterprise at the stage they are at, so they can provide specific and tailored assistance to meet their needs.

My business operates in a niche market - do you have advisors and mentors with the right expertise?

We have a diverse team of professionals with a vast range of expertise and experience. While we may not have mentors with direct experience in every niche market that our enterprises operate in, they will have the skills that are relevant to getting investment ready such as strengthening business models, financial modelling and valuation, impact measurement etc.

How is Scaling Impact different from other accelerators?

We are an accelerator operating in Sydney, but we serve the whole of Australia. We are unique in that we focus on impact investment readiness for all socially or environmentally focused enterprises. Many others are commercially focused or are focused on earlier stage enterprises.


What are the eligibility requirements?

Scaling Impact targets startups that are social enterprises or purpose-driven businesses.

We will be looking at enterprises that meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Your organisation is based in Australia

  • Your organisation has a social or environmental mission (or both) at its core and that are aligned with the SDGs

  • Your organisation has product market fit and a proven business model that has generated at least $50,000 in revenue and can be scaled

  • Your organisation is planning to take on equity and/or debt investment within the next 12 months

What sort of start ups are you looking for?

Scaling Impact will be open to impact entrepreneurs anywhere in Australia, including regional and remote locations. Scaling Impact targets startups that are social enterprises or purpose-driven businesses. By this, we mean businesses that have a social or environmental mission and are aligned with one or more of the SDGs. We are focused on those enterprises where the impact model is intrinsic (i.e. as the business scales, the impact also grows), and addressing disadvantage and/or employment. We are also looking for a proven business model or some traction in the market and an intention to grow and scale. We are focused on those ready to start preparing for impact investment. Given COVID-19, we are focused on enterprises with strong business models operating in resilient sectors. 

We've already received funding, are we still eligible to apply?

If you have received grant funding or seed funding in the past and are working towards impact investment readiness and seeking larger scale investment funding, you are still eligible to apply.

I have already participated in an accelerator, can I still participate in Scaling Impact?

 We welcome applications from any enterprises that are socially or environmentally focused and have a well proven business model, or some traction in the market, irrespective of whether you have already participated in an accelerator.

Do I need to be in Sydney to participate?

Given the current environment, we expect to deliver most or all elements of the program online, so there is no need to be located in Sydney.


When does the next round of applications open and close?

Expression of interests are now open and will be accepted on a rolling basis up until the 12 March 2021. Applications will close 31 March 2021.

How does the application process work?

Applicants will be asked to fill in a short Expression of Interest form online. Once you have submitted your EOI, we will review and invite you to apply if you meet the eligibility criteria. We may give you a call to clarify certain details from your Expression of Interest form.

Once you are invited to apply, you will receive an application form to fill out which will cover your business model, impact model, finances and proposed scaling pathway. We will conduct interviews before the final selection of 6 - 12 enterprises.

Do you accept late applications?

We do not accept late applications unless there are extraordinary circumstances.

How do you choose which companies to accept in the program?

We will select enterprises with proven business models with the intention to grow and scale including internationally, preferably operating in the fields of disadvantage and/or employment.

What if I need to change the answers to my application?

Applications can be resubmitted online at any point up to the application end date of 31 March 2021. After that date, you are welcome to email us at

I’ve applied and haven’t heard back! When will I get an answer?

We will be in touch with all applicants by 30 April.

Do you provide feedback on unsuccessful applications?

Yes, we are happy to provide verbal feedback to you if you are unsuccessful.

Should I apply again if I am rejected?

Yes, applicants are welcome to reapply in the 2022 program if they are unsuccessful in 2021.

Participation in Scaling Impact

How big of a time commitment is the program?

Scaling Impact offers a menu of activities, delivered over a 5-month period. These do not require a full-time commitment. In the program, entrepreneurs are not passive recipients of content, rather active participants so it is expected that they will action learnings throughout the duration of the program in a model of iterative project-based learning and this will require a significant commitment of 3-4 hours/week in formal sessions as well as additional time spent working on actionable deliverables each week to build the enterprise's impact investment readiness throughout the 5 months.

How many founders need to participate in the program? Can my team join?

Where possible and beneficial to the progress of the enterprise, team members will be welcome to participate.

Each enterprise will be asked to select one founder to receive one-on-one mentoring before the start of the program.

Do you invest in the participating companies?

We do not commit to invest directly into our participating enterprises. We retain a right to invest on the same terms as other investors for three years post completion of the program.

Does it cost money to participate?

There is no upfront cost to our selected cohort to participate in the Scaling Impact accelerator program. However, if investors choose to invest in your enterprise, we require a fee to help cover the costs to offer the program to future cohorts. Also, some of our Scaling Impact masterclasses will be offered to members of the public at a cost.

If investors choose to invest in your enterprise at any time 24 months after the start of the program, there will be a success fee charged on the capital raise of $25,000 (+GST) or 2.5% of the total subscription amount in relation to the capital raise (which includes debt, equity and hybrid amounts).

Other Questions

I have additional questions, who should I contact?

If you have any additional questions that are not answered via our FAQs please email us and we will respond to your questions.

What is the work space that you provide?

Social Impact Hub’s has office space available in Edgecliff, Sydney. We also have access to the office space of our program partners in other states in Australia and in multiple international locations.

Do I have to work out of the Social Impact Hub office?

No, you do not have to work out of the Social Impact Hub office. In the current environment, it is expected that most or all activities for the program will be conducted virtually.

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