Applications for Kick Starter ROUND TWO 2019 are now OPEN.

Kick Starter is a business planning competition and small grants program funded by the Macquarie Group Foundation for early stage social ventures and run by SEFA Partnerships, as part of its commitment to boost capacity within the sector.

Click here to apply for Round Two 2019 | Investment Ready - Applications close 30 June

"Kick Starter was a great boost to our organisation. Of course the money was great, but more than that Macquarie has been supportive in terms of resources and mentoring. From day one my mentor challenged me to see our business model in a different way and her passion for what we did meant that I listened.” - Jamie Moore, Hello Sunday Morning



Are you working on growing your social enterprise? Do you want to become investor-ready?

Kick Starter can help you develop your social venture and build your networks and knowledge, so that you can increase your chances of attracting investors.

Round Two of Kick Starter 2019 is available to existing growth or pre-growth stage social ventures with a proven model who are working towards becoming investor ready in 2020/2021.  Applications are open until 30 June, 2019.

Over the 12-week program (Mid-August - November) Kick Starter participants will gain knowledge and resources in become investor-ready and will also develop a business plan with mentor support from Macquarie Group employees.

Two participants will also be awarded a $15,000 grant to help leverage additional funding support.

Want to meet a previous Kick Starter participant? Check out our conversation with Aivee Robinson, Co-Founder of Catalyser HERE.

Round Two applicants must:

•              Be a part of a social enterprise at pre-growth or growth stage.

•              Be able to demonstrate the enterprise is innovative ie, it addresses an unmet social or community need; and/or creates a new model or way of meeting that need; and/or draws on existing innovations.

•              Commit to developing and submitting a business and action plan at the conclusion of Kick Starter, engaging in peer learning sessions and attending key workshops (Induction day, Empathic Negotiation, HR101, Managing Investor relations and Building your advisory /governance network) . 

•              Be able to participate in group learning sessions and face to face meetings with mentors in Sydney.

•              Be able to engage relevant partners in the innovation design, development and implementation of the social venture.

Applicants will be required to complete an initial online application and, if successful, a 3–5 minute pitch to a judging panel in Sydney, made up of sector experts and representatives from SEFA Partnerships and Macquarie Group.


For further resources to support the articulation of your social enterprise idea and additional information on eligibility check out the Frequently Asked Questions below or contact Hannah Miller on (02) 8199 3366 or at 



Q: What is a social Entrapreneur?
A: A social entrapreneur works to drive their organisation or company towards creating both social impact and commercial value through the use of existing infrastructures and organisational capabilities.

Q: Does my organisation need to have DGR status to be eligible for Kick Starter?
A: No, it is not necessary for your organisation to have DGR status to be eligible.

Q: My organisation has previously received funding for our social enterprise. Can I still apply?
A: You can still apply if your organisation has secured funding, however greater consideration will be given to those projects with limited financial backing.

Q: Can I still participate in Kick Starter if I am not based in Sydney?
A: If you are successful and matched with a mentor team it is preferable that you are able to travel to Sydney for at least one face–to–face meeting with them (travel support is available). Virtual pitch presentations may be available pending venue and technology availability.

Q: What is involved in pitching my social enterprise idea?
A: If you have been shortlisted from your initial application, you will be notified of the Kick Starter pitch day details in Sydney. Pitches need to be less than 5 minutes and each pitch will be followed by a 10 minute Q&A with the judges.  Note: The use of PowerPoint is not permitted but you are invited to bring along any items that will help you present your idea or project in an interesting and engaging way. Prior to pitch day SEFA Partnerships will run a information session to provide pitch tips and tricks to shortlisted applicants.

Q: What if I am unable to pitch in person?
A: Virtual pitch presentations will be available for those shortlisted outside of the greater Sydney region.

Q: Who is involved in selecting Kick Starter participants?
A: SEFA Partnerships administers the Kick Starter program and oversees the shortlisting of applicants to progress to the pitching phase. SEFA Partnerships also sits on the judging panel for pitches and grant recipient selections, in partnership with sector experts and the Macquarie Group Foundation who fund the program. 

Q: What is the role of a Mentor?

A: A mentor is often described as a critical friend, guide and advisor (only where appropriate). The key role of a mentor is to challenge the mentee though asking questions and giving frank feedback. Mentors bring new lenses of thinking to a challenge and through the diversification of perspectives test the assumptions that underpin it, supporting the social entrepreneur to build a more robust business plan.

NOTE: The mentor’s role is NOT to write the business plan.