Australia’s social venture ecosystem

Authored by:

Michael Moran, Libby Ward-Christie

Status: Completed October 2021

In late 2020, the Paul Ramsay Foundation commissioned the Centre for Social Impact Swinburne to undertake research into Australia’s social venture ecosystem.

The project has two broad aims:

  • To develop a comprehensive understanding of the program-based supports available for early-stage social ventures in Australia, which includes but may not be limited to support programs described as ‘accelerators’ and ‘incubators’.
  • To identify and understand those organisations that operate at a systems level with the primary aim of building Australia’s nascent social enterprise, social business and social impact investment fields, referred to as ‘Apex organisations’.

Significant overarching findings of this research are, that currently in Australia:

  • The program-based supports available for early-stage social ventures can be grouped according to their program objectives, the nature of the organisation offering the program and the core target program participants - different types are likely to be more or less suitable for different participants with different aims.
  • The nascent social venture ecosystem sees many systems-level functions being performed by organisations that are not traditional Apex organisations - sometimes called ‘peak bodies’ or ‘industry bodies’ in other contexts.

Read more in the report, Australia’s social venture ecosystem: Understanding the support and development landscape

The authors would like to thank all research participants for their time and for generously sharing their insights and knowledge of Australia’s social venture ecosystem.


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