Kickstarter 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.

About Kickstarter

Designed to build the capacity of early stage social ventures through the development of robust and tested business plans, professional mentoring and small grant funding, Kickstarter awards 6 x $10,000 grants annually (across two rounds) to eligible social enterprises as part of a two-stage process:

·       An initial application and 3–5 minute pitch in person to a judging panel; and

·       A 12-week business plan development phase involving mentor support by a small team of Macquarie directors.

In 2017, Kick Starter will include two rounds (Round 1: February – July and Round 2: June – December). Each round will consist of 12 finalists who will be mentored through the production and submission of their business plan, each round awarding only 3 x$10,000 grants.

For more information check out the links below: 

To find out more about the program experience check out this short video

"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


Key Dates

Applications open - 24th Jan 2017

Applications close - 24th Feb 2017 | Extended until 1st March 

Shortlisted applicants notified - 3rd Mar

Pitch days - 29th Mar (Sydney), 30th Mar (Melbourne), 31st Mar (Virtual)

12 finalists notified - 3rd Apr

Business plan development - 1st May - 21st Jul

Final business plan submission: 21st Jul

3 x Grant winners notified: Mid August

For any other enquiries relating to the program please contact Hannah Miller e. Hannah.miller@sefapartnerships.org.au t. 02 8199 3366


Selections Criteria  

Applicants must:

·       Be a part of a social enterprise.

·       Have an innovative social venture either at pilot or start-up phase that has preferably not received more than $25,000 in funding and can demonstrate at least 25% of the venture’s revenue will be derived from trading income.

·       Be available on dedicated Pitch Days. Finalists will be required to submit a summarised business plan (no longer than 8 pages) at the conclusion of the 12 week mentorship plan.

·       Attend/participate in all program evaluation, up to 12 months after completion of the program.

·       Be able to demonstrate:

o   The start up venture is innovative i.e., 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 and tailors that to meet a local need.

o   The grant will be leveraged in order to access additional investment, sales or other funding support.

o   The applicant’s ability to engage relevant partners in the innovation design, development and implementation of the social venture