Tips and inspiration for changemakers from the social impact crowdfunding website, StartSomeGood

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This Week in Social Entrepreneurship: Networking, Conferences, Social Entrepreneurship All Over the Globe, and More!


Social entrepreneurship is all around the globe.

We are almost done with 2 months of 2017. How has it been for you in terms of starting good?

Check below for new links to events, news reports, and inspirational articles. We hope you find them useful!


Opportunities and Events

Social Entrepreneurs Networking Evening – March 2, Haymarket HQ

If you are in Sydney and want to meet fellow aspiring entrepreneurs or have drinks with founders (and maybe learn about internship or job opportunities with them) of established social enterprises, join this networking event on March 2 at Haymarket HQ. Tickets are for $15. Grab yours now!

#StartingGood Social Enterprise Virtual Summit – March 21-31

Do you want to know more about how to start good this year? We are bringing you a FREE webinar where you will hear from seasoned social entrepreneurs and experts regarding practical tools you would need to start good. Stay tuned and register your interest! It is available to you no matter where you are in the world.

7 ‘Can’t Miss’ Conferences for Entrepreneurs in 2017

Forbes has listed out some wonderful entrepreneurship conferences for you if you are in the US (or plan to be in the coming year). Check them out!


News, Reports, Insights

Report: Canada Ranked Second-Best Country for Social Entrepreneurs

Next to the US, the Thomson Reuters Foundation, in partnership with Deutsche Bank and Global Social Entrepreneurship Network found that Canada is the second-best country for social entrepreneurs in terms of environment for scaling and growing these businesses.

Promoting innovation through social entrepreneurship

Read about what social entrepreneurship is like in the Philippines and how they use this to promote innovation within the country.

The lives and lies of social entrepreneurs

Regarding making money, white lies, scepticism, a lonely life… Read all about what these truly mean for social entrepreneurs.



Social Innovation – the Last and Next Decade

Call this a short history lesson in terms of the space we are in – that is, social entrepreneurship. See how it has been in the past 10 years and see where it is going. It is all interesting and good fun!

10 Ted Talks For The Freelancer Who Needs Inspiration

There is nothing like motivation from a good TED talk. If you are a creative freelancer, these ones could be targeted directly at you. Enjoy!

9 inspiring books every woman entrepreneur must read

Are you a woman entrepreneur and was wondering about books to add to your reading list? Well, you are welcome! Here are some you can check out.


Let us know if you have events, opportunities, resources, news, insights, and other articles you would like to share. Email us at with “TWISE” in the subject line.

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This Week in Social Entrepreneurship: Upcoming Events, New Startups, and More!


Let’s start good together and build a better world.

Hello, February! We have links to summits and conferences, news on new startups, and so much more. We are in exciting times in the world of social entrepreneurship!


Opportunities and Events

#StartingGood Social Enterprise Virtual Summit – March 2017 

Our crowdfunding campaign is still running (with amazing rewards up for grabs)! Learn how to start good this year in a free-to-access virtual summit. We at StartSomeGood are bringing you the #StartingGood Social Enterprise Virtual Summit for social entrepreneurs and aspiring changemakers.

National Achievers Congress – Sydney and Melbourne, February 28 & March 2 2017 

Hear from various speakers regarding Business & Entrepreneurship, Success Mindset, and Wealth Creation on 28 February in Sydney and 2 March in Melbourne. Book your tickets now!

2017 Washington Nonprofit Conference – Washington DC, February 22-24

Join different fundraising and marketing professionals gather in Washington DC from February 22-24 at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel for the nonprofit conference entitled “Disrupt: Change Yourself. Change Your Organization. Change the World.”


News, Reports, Insights

New Startup Accelerator For Social Entrepreneurs Targeting Climate Change And Water Systems 

Read about GoodCompany Ventures’ Climate Ventures 2.0 that helps 10 startups targeted at addressing climate change and threats to water systems.

UK Tech Startup Takes Over Social Media With Global Launch Campaign To Tackle Diversity In The Workplace #GettingMoreWomenIntoTech 

This tech startup aims to get 1000 women into technology roles by 2020.

How Social Media Usage Could Affect Your Startup Funding Opportunities 

Read about the importance of watching what you post on social media – your investors may be watching!



3 Reasons Why Social Entrepreneurs Need a Mentor 

Whether it is learning from their mistakes, tapping into their established network, or improving effectivity, social entrepreneurs can gain much from mentors.

Why Entrepreneurs Should Really Care About Public Schools 

Whether we realise it or not, schools are the breeding ground for the industry’s talent pool. This article explains why it is then important that social entrepreneurs take heed.

11 Keys To Finding Success As A New Entrepreneur 

There will be many days when the entrepreneurship world will seem so daunting and full. Here are some keys to finding success in the field.


Email us at if you have links you would like to share. We would love to hear from you!


A cheat-sheet of great opportunities for Australian Social Enterprises

one night stand

Jamie Green of One Night Stand sleepwear, a social enterprise which raises funds for homeless relief, and who was supported by ING DIRECT’s Dreamstarter.

This is an exciting time to be founding or growing a social enterprise in Australia, with a rapid build-out of a supportive ecosystem of organisations here to help entrepreneurs and enterprises succeed. As about 1/3 of our projects are currently from Australia (which makes it our equal biggest market with the US) and we have members of our team there who keep abreast of such things, we thought it would be worth summarising these opportunities as a cheat-sheet for Aussie entrepreneurs.

This is the first of a series of posts which will provide similar cheat-sheets for the US, UK, Canada, SE Asia and elsewhere.

Incubators, Accelerators and Leadership Programs

Need to discover your purpose, refine your idea or get serious about scale? Whichever stage you’re at one of the great programs below can help you take that next step!

School for Social Entrepreneurs
The School for Social Entrepreneurs started in the UK and launched in Australia in 2009. It now runs programs in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth, helping aspiring social entrepreneurs to develop a clear theory of change and identify how to move forward with their vision.

Centre for Sustainability Leadership
The Centre for Sustainability Leadership (CSL) is another entrepreneurial leadership program – with a more environmental bent – to help people become “future makers”. They have programs for intrapreneurial leadership as well as a program for rural leaders.

One10 is a new social enterprise accelerator in Melbourne which works closely with enterprises to get them growing and ready to raise investment. The One10 accelerator program last for about 12 weeks, the program is tailored to each individual or business. They work to strengthen your market strategy, to help you commercialise, and to support your rapid growth.

Social Traders’ Crunch
The Crunch, run by Social Traders, has been around for five years and has worked with 100 social enterprises. They help participating enterprises grow capacity in creating jobs, business sustainability, waste reduction, accessible housing and more.

Impact Accelerator
Impact Accelerator is a Brisbane-based 20 week program dedicated to supporting social enterprise startup and early stage entrepreneurs achieve sustainable and scalable impact. The program includes 160 direct hours of contact with every social entrepreneur and is great for new, launching enterprises.

INCUBATE is an award-winning startup accelerator and entrepreneur program at the University of Sydney. INCUBATE fosters a proactive community of entrepreneurs on campus by providing funding, co-working space and mentoring from Australia’s most recognised entrepreneurs to accelerate the growth of high-potential startups. The program is open to students, researchers and alumni at the University of Sydney and is expanding across Australia.

Two Feet by The Difference Incubator
Two Feet, a new program run by The Difference Incubator, helps you build your organisation’s understanding and capacity on your journey to becoming investable. This six month program is structured into fortnightly group sessions and a monthly one-on-one coaching session which will explore the key aspects that you need to build into your business in order to grow an Investable Social Enterprise

Funding and Investment

Social Enterprises may have a sustainable business model but like many startups you may require investment to fully realise this. If this describes your enterprise here are a few opportunities you should look into.

Dreamstarter by ING DIRECT
Over the past three years ING DIRECT have supported 50 community projects – including many social enterprises – through their Dreamstarter program. If selected they will provide up to half your fundraising goal, then support you to raise the rest on StartSomeGood.

Some of the entrepreneurs supported by Dreamstarter last year

Some of the entrepreneurs supported by Dreamstarter last year

SEFA –Social Enterprise Finance Australia – is one of Australia’s leading lenders to mission-led organisations. SEFA provides tailored finance solutions to mission led organisations and are deeply committed to fostering positive social and environmental impact. They have recently launched a worlds-first collaboration with StartSomeGood to use crowdfunding success as a qualifying instrument for a loan. Find out more here.

Foresters Community Finance
Foresters provides community finance loans for social enterprises and non-profit organisations who are looking to grow and develop. These will be on relatively commercial terms.

Myer Innovation Fellowship
This doesn’t have to be a social enterprise but can be and is one of the great opportunities in the Australian social change sector. The Myer Innovation Fellowships supports Australia’s brightest, self-directed leaders to forge breakthrough solutions and articulate actionable ideas which compel our community to respond. Fellows will take nine months away from their current role to pursue a nascent idea that has the capacity to radically shift our approaches to the challenges facing the social and environmental sectors in Australia today. Fellows will each receive $100,000 for their nine month commitment to the program along with select administrative and operational support.

Local Government Funding
A number of Australian local governments have social enterprise funding programs. At StartSomeGood we’ve worked with the Cities of Melbourne (Pitch for Good), Parramatta (Parramatch) and Fremantle (Freomatch) to showcase great social entrepreneurs and support them to crowdfund additional support, matching that with government funding. So don’t forget to check out your local council for opportunities.

Impact Investment Readiness Fund
The Impact Investment Readiness Fund provides mission-driven organisations with targeted advice and support to help them secure investment for scaling up their social or environmental impact. The Fund offers grants of up to $100,000 for enterprises to purchase specialised capacity building support from providers such as advisory, financial, intermediary or legal services.

10×10 supports emerging charities and social enterprises across Australia through live crowdfunding events with 100 participants contributing a minimum of $100 and three organisations pitching for their support.

The Funding Network
TFN is an Australian non-profit organisation that hosts live collective-giving events where like-minded individuals, foundations and corporations come together to create powerful social change. At each event, four social entrepreneurs running grassroots non-profit organisations pitch for funding from a philanthropic audience. In six-minute segments our speakers share their inspiring stories and invite guests to become part of innovative solutions to community issues. TFN has raised $3.1 million for 94 organisations so far.

Crowdfunding with StartSomeGood!
Have to put this on the list. We love working with social enterprises and help them reach their goals at a very high rate. You don’t necessarily need the approval of institutional investors if you have an engaged community ready to support you and be early adopters of what you’re offering!

Events and Learning Opportunities

Events can be a source of knowledge and of community. They’re how you build your community and where you can find natural partners, collaborators and mentors, as well as where you can learn many of the essential skills to social enterprise success.

General Assembly
General Assembly transforms thinkers into creators through education and opportunities in technology, business, and design. They offer an incredible array of workshops and courses, on and offline (in Sydney and Melbourne, and another 17 locations worldwide) in everything a startup would need. Coding, design, customer development, marketing, data analytics and more. Doesn’t have a social focus but if you need to skill up on the hard skills to make your vision fly this is the place to look.

Link Festival
Link Festival is a wonderful conference which covers design, technology and social change, and for the first time this year takes place in Sydney in additional to Melbourne. Link bring together Australia’s leading and emerging social innovators and future makers along with students, startups and academics. Link 2016 takes place the first week of March and you can still get a ticket.

Nexus Youth Summit
Nexus is a global movement to bridge communities of wealth and social entrepreneurship. Nexus works to unite young investors, social entrepreneurs and allies to catalyse new leadership and accelerate global solutions. Applications have closed for the next Nexus Youth Summit Australia in March but it’s worth keeping an eye on the network of Nexus events happening around the world.

Social Enterprise Awards
The Social Enterprise Awards recognise and celebrate excellence in social enterprise in Australia. As the only national awards, this is your opportunity to tell your social enterprise story and be recognised for leading the way in addressing social, environmental or community issues. The awards take place towards the end of the year and are organised by Social Traders.

Entrepreneurs & Co
Entrepreneurs & Co hold monthly events in Melbourne which focus on how to start, fundraise for and grow a social enterprise.

Sprout Summit
Sprout Summit is a one-day event for emerging leaders who want to create positive impact by joining a non-profit board or starting their own non-profit or social enterprise. Sprout Summit will equip emerging leaders with the practical tools, processes and insights to create positive impact and drive successful change.

Their next conference is in Melbourne in July.

StartSomeGood CEO Tom Dawkins presenting at Sprout Summit last year.

StartSomeGood CEO Tom Dawkins presenting at Sprout Summit last year.

In additional to their accelerator One10 run regular events and workshops about pitching, fundraising, building product and other key entrepreneurial topics, mostly in Melbourne.

IMPACT Social Enterprise National Conference
IMPACT Social Enterprise holds a national conference in August each year for young innovators around the country to come together and engage with the idea of social enterprise. They introduce participants to the knowledge and skills required for tackling social problems with business models and innovation, and support these young people as they develop enterprises.

The first Purpose conference took place in December and was wonderful. Wildwon, the team behind it, have made no commitments about doing it again but I’m sticking this here in the hope they do. If they do you should go.


The best conferences for social entrepreneurs in 2016

Photo from SOCAP 2015

Photo from SOCAP 2015 at Fort Mason, San Francisco.

As a social entrepreneur or community organiser, your time and your funds are often precious, so you have to be selective about the events you attend. Here’s our selection of the most valuable conferences happening this year, where you’re more likely to find collaborators, funders or partners, to gain new insights and perspectives and to be inspired by those who came before and what’s possible when people put their mind to making a difference.

If you think we missed anything crucial please mention it in the comments!

Sankalp Africa Summit
February 24-26 in Nairbo, Kenya.
The third Annual Sankalp Africa Summit will continue the exciting conversations on entrepreneurship, innovation and inclusive development. All conversations at this year’s Summit will revolve around the theme of “Spurring the Entrepreneurship Economy”. It will take a comprehensive look at the different strata of society which shape, influence, and stimulate inclusive and high-impact enterprises, while also building markets to efficiently carry these businesses to scale, enabling them to reach their full potential. Over the last 2 years, Sankalp Forum, a global platform with regional editions, has convened over 1200 diverse stakeholder groups in Africa with the intent to create an ecosystem approach to enterprise-led development. We invite you to participate in this exciting movement and look forward to meeting you!

Find out more.

Nexus Australia Youth Summit
March 6 – 8, 2016 in Sydney, Australia.
The Nexus Australia Youth Summit will bring together young philanthropists, impact investors, social entrepreneurs and allies – including family business members, successful entrepreneurs, and inspiring social change leaders. Connecting the financial, intellectual, creative, and social capital of our generation in action-oriented, solutions-focused, and safe space, the Nexus Australia Youth Summit aims to inspire learning and collaboration between a uniquely powerful network of peers. They will discuss the challenges facing the world today and innovative solutions to them.

By application only, applications close January 26.

Nonprofit Technology Conference
March 23-25, 2016 in San Jose, California.
The Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) is the U.S. nonprofit sector’s signature technology event. They assemble over 2000 of the best and brightest nonprofit professionals from around the world. Together, they collaborate, innovate, and discover new ways to spark change with technology.

Find out more.

Skoll World Forum photo by globalX on flickr

Ambition at Skoll World Forum 2014

Skoll World Forum
April 13-15 in Oxford, England.

Each year, nearly 1,000 of the world’s most influential social entrepreneurs, key thought leaders, and strategic partners gather at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School to exchange ideas, solutions, and information. The Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship is the premier international platform for advancing entrepreneurial approaches and solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Our mission is to accelerate the impact of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs by uniting them with essential partners in a collaborative pursuit of learning, leverage, and large-scale social change.

By application only. Applications due January 31.

OuiShare Fest

May 18-20 in Paris, France.
OuiShare Fest is an international event that takes place each May at teh Cabaret Sauvage in Pais. It gathers a global community of 1500 entrepreneurs and social innovators, non-profit and business leaders, grassroots activists and public officials ready to step out of their comfort zone and head towards new frontiers. After the Gold Rush… is the moment for action. Are you ready?

Find out more.

Asian Venture Philanthropy Network Annual Conference
May 23-25 in Hong Kong.
The Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) is a membership network headquartered in Singapore that seeks to increase the flow of financial, human and intellectual capital to the social sector, and to improve the social impact effectiveness of members across the Asia Pacific region. They promote venture philanthropy in the broader philanthropic and social investment communities and provide specific networking and learning services to meet the needs of our members. Their annual conference brings together the key players in impact investment and venture philanthropy in Asia.

Find out more.

Anthea Watson Strong presenting at PDF.

Anthea Watson Strong presenting at PDF.

Personal Democracy Forum
June – exact dates TBA – in New York, USA.
PDF brings together close to 1,000 top technologists, campaigners, hackers, opinion-makers, government officials, journalists, and academics for two days of game-changing talks, workshops, and networking opportunities, offering an inspiring look into what’s ahead for the entire civic tech field.
Find out more.

Nexus Global Youth Summit
July – exact dates TBA – in New York, USA.
Nexus is a global movement to bridge communities of wealth and social entrepreneurship. We work to unite young investors, social entrepreneurs and allies to catalyze new leadership and accelerate global solutions.
Founded in 2011, Nexus puts the hope and promise of young people on the world stage by bringing together leaders at Nexus events around the world for inspiration, education, dialogue, and collaborative problem solving.

By application only. Find out more.

Social Capital Markets (SOCAP)
September 13-16 in San Francisco, USA.
Social Capital Markets is dedicated to accelerating a new global market at the intersection of money & meaning and is probably the world’s leading conference for the growing impact investing sector.

Find out more.

Opportunity Collaboration
October 9-14 in Cancún, Mexico.
Convene with thought leaders in social change from around the world. Learn best practices and the latest techniques & technologies to meet your greatest challenges. Connect with people who can contribute to your efforts. Find people with similar challenges and learn solutions. Find organizations with resources and capabilities to help you achieve your goals. Catalyze new paths to success. Build new and better processes, more efficient organizations, and better business models. Forge alliances and partnerships to multiply your impact.

By application only. Applications now open.

The Feast Impact East
October – exact dates TBA – in NY, USA.
The Feast Impact is an epic event that brings together inspired people from across disciplines to apply their skills to world-changing opportunities for innovation. Over three days, each participant will share what they know, gain personal and interdisciplinary insight, and advance the work of today’s greatest entrepreneurs.
Through collaboration, embodied experiences, and unlocking the power of our human potential, we create an experience of abundance unlike any other.

Find out more.

Meaning Conference
November – exact dates TBA – in Brighton, UK
Meaning is the annual gathering for people who believe business can and must be a force for positive change in our dynamic and volatile world. Their speakers are international thinkers and doers from business, academia and activism, each bringing an individual perspective on the challenges and opportunities we face.

Find out more.

The Fast Company Innovation Festival
November 9-12 in NY, USA.
Surprising conversations, keynotes, hands-on workshops and performances will take place in unexpected NYC locales. The most creative companies from around the city will open their doors to attendees for fascinating, in-depth tours. All featuring some of the biggest names in business, entertainment, technology, design, fashion and beyond.

Find out more.

Web of Change
November 28-December 2, 2016 in Big Sur, California.
The Web of Change annual conference brings together the foremost thinkers and doers in social media, digital strategy and social change. Web of Change events are where progressive organizers and digital strategists come to up their game, candidly share frontline experiences, reflect deeply on their impact and find the network and meaning needed to do transformational work.

Find out more.

What else is worth our attention? Let us know in the comments!

SOCAP photo by dianaconnolly101, PDF photo by Doc Searls and Skoll World Forum by global X, all used under a Creative Commons License.