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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Social Entrepreneurship with Simon Sinek: An Except from Rank & File Magazine

An excerpt from Rank & File magazine.


Award winning author, motivational speaker and leadership guru Simon Sinek, who uses the power of storytelling with a parable-like quality, first planted his concepts of “Start With Why” and “The Golden Circle” into the hearts of our corporate executives back in 2009, spawning one of the most popular TED Talks of all time.

To date, Simon has penned two best sellers — “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” and “Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t.” Beyond writing, Simon works as an adjunct staff member of the RAND Corporation, one of the most highly regarded think tanks in the world, and he regularly comments for respected local and national media outlets like NPR and The New York Times.

Accolades aside, Simon embodies his teachings. He is approachable, humble and generous with his time. These character traits are exactly what made Rank & File aspire to sit down with Simon to discuss social entrepreneurialism, including the biggest mistakes that social entrepreneurs make, why cultivating inner character is a critical step in the leadership journey, and how leaders should become guiding “Cause Holders” for their companies. During our interview, we spoke in length about the benefits and dangers in the growing social enterprise trend — a topic about which Simon holds some strong opinions.

“I like the idea of social entrepreneurship, but to fully embrace the goodness of social entrepreneurship you have to treat everyone right,” he told Rank & File. “Not just the chosen receivers of your goodness.”

Simon went on to explain that he thinks the term “social enterprise” may be thrown around too loosely. From Simon’s view, the key to developing a successful and impact-driven social enterprise is to first look internally before projecting externally. Practically, this means focusing heavily on your company’s foundational values and character and allowing this core element to act as the lead domino for all of your outward-facing programs.

“You have all these well-intended young entrepreneurs out there [wanting] to do something of social importance, looking externally,” said Simon. “And yet, while building their companies, they may mistreat their own people. It’s like being a child psychologist but abusing your own children. It doesn’t make sense. And so I find it fascinating how people can be so obsessed with an external while ignoring the internal. To be good at anything, in any company, it has to start from within.”

This challenge comes at an opportune time, as thousand of young people approach social entrepreneurialism with a new enlightenment to accomplish social good through their startups. So what are the keys then to fully embrace the calling of our responsibilities as social entrepreneurs? How do we go forth as strong leaders that focus internally when we may be fighting to keep all the wheels on our fragile businesses in the marketplace? Sinek’s teachings challenge us to dig deep.

In the spirit of shifting our perspectives to focus on the internal rather than the external, Simon encourages us to cultivate humility.

We social entrepreneurs have a tendency to view our business models as superior to mainstream programs and organizations. Indeed, we are often guilty of forming cliques and belittling traditional methods of conducting business and outreach.

From Simon’s perspective, abandoning this superiority complex and developing humility will actually allow us to have greater social impact, both personally and professionally.

“[Having] the word ‘social’ in your product or business [mission] doesn’t actually mean that you are a good company,” said Simon. “And not doing those [social good] things doesn’t make you a bad company. You can make any type of widget and treat people right. And the people who work for you will have better marriages, treat their kids better, and treat people that they interact with on a daily basis better, and they will have a great impact on the community.”

Simon didn’t disparage the value of social entrepreneurship or individuals’ desires to achieve social outcomes through their business models. Yet, his advice cuts through the hype often associated with the social good sector, reminding us to get back to the core — the ABC’s, so to speak — of what it means to be a social entrepreneur. Among other things, having a humble attitude entails respecting traditional business models who conduct their affairs with integrity and treat their employees and stakeholders with dignity.

Become a Holder of Your Cause.

In the social enterprise space, we hear a lot about “social innovation,” especially as it relates to sustainable energy and technology. But what do we mean when we use the term? Usually, we’re describing a tangible, specifically applied approach to making change through new models while challenging norms and bureaucracies, achieving new levels of efficiency, and defending the inherent rights and dignity of human beings.

However, Simon pointed out that these models are only social enterprise products. He developed this idea using a classic example: Apple.

“The product, no matter what it is, is just the manifestation of an underlying cause,” he said. “Steve Jobs’ obsession was empowering people to stand up to the status quo. That was their cause. The personal computer was the manifestation of their cause — a product that gave an individual power to compete against a corporation.”

Next came the iPhone. Prior to Apple, cell phone functionality was determined by cell service providers. “Apple showed up and said, ‘No, we are going to tell you what the phone will do,’’ placing all of the power into the hands of cell phone manufacturers and, ultimately, consumers themselves. With the development of the iPhone, Apple challenged the status quo yet again, fulfilling one of Jobs’ core values.

“The key for Apple and all of us is not confusing our innovations or our products as our cause,” said Simon. “They are three separate things. Innovation doesn’t come from our social desire to give and solve world poverty, although it’s a great thing to do. The innovation comes from actually having a disposition, actually having a cause, and actually having a why…”

Remember that your social innovation models and your solutions to problems are not your cause. They are your products and services.

Identify your root cause. What is your underlying motivation for developing these innovative products and services? Dig deep — past the tangible, past your approach, past your mission statement, and past your goals and objectives. Ask yourself “Why?” again and again until you know what underlying motivation or belief is fueling your efforts. Then keep your cause at the forefront of everything that you do…

The full version of this story, including Simon’s 7 Steps for Students of Leadership, is available in Rank & File Magazine. Rank & File is much more than a magazine. They are a community of risk-takers, like you, who believe people are worth serving and business can create change. Download the Rank & File App for Apple and Android today to start reading for free.

Photos in this article courtesy of © Simon Sinek, Inc.

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Interview Spotlight: Mighty Good Undies

An interview with Mighty Good Undies, a new underwear company making super soft toxic-free underwear from organically grown, Fairtrade cotton, sewn by adults who get paid a living wage, at a price you can afford. Change the world by changing your undies. 


What does ultimate success look like for you and your project?

Obviously success is reaching our goal, but for us it is more than that. We want our supporters to be as excited as we are about Mighty Good Undies and our mission to bring certified organic and Fairtrade cotton undies to the market at an affordable price point.

Why did you choose StartSomeGood as your partner?

We loved the personal approach of StartSomeGood and the fact that we were not going to get ‘lost in the crowd’ of projects. Also, the focus of the StartSomeGood site on social enterprise, community and environmental projects was really attractive and fit in well with our brand ethos.

What kind of support do changemakers in your community need?

We see our community as the ‘ecofashion’ community who are actively trying to find new ways of producing our clothes by addressing the enormous social and environmental impacts of the textile industry.  These changemakers need support in getting the message out there about ecofashion and their brands and pathways to working with major retailers so that we can upscale our work.

What’s your number 1 piece of advice for people who want to make a positive impact?

Have a really clear vision of what you want to achieve. And keep on coming back to that through the good and hard times. It will keep you centered and focused.

To learn more about Might Good Undies or to pledge support, visit here.

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Best Podcasts For Social Entrepreneurs and Changemakers

Guest post from Social Good Stuff.

If you’re in need of some guidance or inspiration as you try to change the world, plug in and stuff yourself with these excellent social change podcasts.

If you’re not sure what a podcast is, they’re basically free radio shows you can access via your smartphone. From captivating interviews with today’s most inspiring changemakers to news on the most pressing social issues facing the planet, you can listen to podcasts anywhere at any time. Podcasts are an excellent way to get inspired, advance your professional skills by learning new change-making tools and strategies, and stay up to date with what’s happening in world of social enterprise. If you’re new to podcasts, here’s a quick primer on how to subscribe to a podcast on your phone so you can listen on the go.

Whether you’re a serial social entrepreneur looking to advance your social impact or simply itching to learn how to foster positive social change, here’s a perfect list of regularly updated podcasts just for you.

The ChangeMakers Podcast | Podcast | Website

Each week, Andréa Ranae chats with amazing women entrepreneurs and changemakers who are making a difference through their life and work. This show is for women with a deep desire for change in the world.

Do Good Better | Podcast | Website

Frank talk about social innovation and the not-for-profit sector. Gain insights on trends and issues facing social innovators, social entrepreneurs, socially responsible businesses, and not-for-profit leaders. Host Trina Isakson blends rants, conversations with expert guests, and listener Q&A to share knowledge about social innovation, social enterprise, corporate social responsibility, social finance, social purpose businesses, and careers.

Humanosphere Podcast | Podcast | Website

Humanosphere exists to tell the stories of the global poor and the people who are working to change the world. They are an independent, non-profit news organization devoted to making news about the global fight against poverty and inequity as engaging as a cat video, an explosion, a celebrity in rehab or a celebrity cat exploding in rehab. This weekly podcast looks at the world of global health and the fight against of poverty with Tom Paulson.

The Impact Podcast | Podcast | Website

The topic of social impact is the focus of The Impact Podcast by Innov8social. Join founder, host, and author Neetal Parekh in exploring the emerging and exciting space of social innovation, which leverages fields such as technology and business for good and hear her first-hand reflections and experience as a founder. Meet global social entrepreneurs, thinkers, doers, and investors, and discover meaningful ways you can engage in the space and reach your impact potential! 

Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs | Podcast | Website

Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs talks to experienced and successful social entrepreneurs and change makers, committed to building a better world. Learn about honest challenges and important successes social entrepreneurs face in fundraising, choosing a legal structure, finding a business model, and measuring their impact. Soak up inspiring stories and learn how different social entrepreneurs stay focused and motivated.

PRI Social Entrepreneurship Podcast | Podcast | Website

PRI’s Social Entrepreneurship Podcast highlights social entrepreneurs featured in PRI’s portfolio of programs. Listen to change agents as they seek creative, inventive, and sustainable approaches to seemingly intractable issues of our time, such as poverty, climate change, and global health.

Samira Stalks | Podcast | Website

This podcast brings you interviews with reckless dreamers and their stories of entrepreneurship, innovation and impact. Each week, Samira Sohail talks to dreamers from an eclectic mix of fields, weaving through their professional and personal journey to uncover the secrets to their success (but sure to talk about failure too)! Pick up business education – from funding, strategy, and operations to marketing – to help you follow your own reckless dream. 

The Social Enterprise Podcast | Podcast | Website

A monthly podcast hosted by Rupert Scofield, author of ‘The Social Entrepreneur’s Handbook’, explores the challenges of starting, building, and running a social enterprise. You’ll hear established social entrepreneurs share their insight and experience, and will find out how you can get support at the beginning of your journey. 

Social Entrepreneur | Podcast | Website

Hosted by Tony Loyd, this is a podcast for aspiring and early-stage social entrepreneurs, and for those who want to make an impact on the world. You’ll hear the stories that led them to becoming change makers, as well as the grand challenges and solutions that they are creating. The guests give advice for early stage and aspiring social entrepreneurs, each episode ends with a call to action.

The Social Entrepreneurship Diaries | Podcast | Website

The Social Entrepreneurship Diaries are Andreia Barbosa personal account of her travels in European social entrepreneurship. She organises the contributions of different makers and thinkers (through interviews and chronicles) comparing and questioning the findings she makes along the way. Institutional producers provide advice and support at various levels, including access to knowledge and practice as well as production and communication expertise. 

SproutCast | Podcast | Website

SproutCast chats with changemakers, social entrepreneurs and innovators, and for purpose leaders about how to create positive impact in society and shape a better world. In each episode you’ll discover actionable tips, tactics, strategies, insights and advice on a wide range of areas. Listen to find out exactly what it takes to have a positive impact on society and make the world a better place.


Not Just Another Crowdfunding Platform: Our Partnerships Help You Double Your Money

Week 6

TL:DR Version

If you’re an impatient social entrepreneur reading this, here’s the gist: we partner with businesses, foundations and governments to boost the funds raised by selected social benefit projects on our site, often by providing up to half your funding goal up-front. We have three of these opportunities open right now – find them under the “Funding Opportunities” heading on our homepage.

If you want to know how and why we arrived at this model, read on…

How Best to Support Change?

If you’ve been with us for any length of time you know this, but StartSomeGood was founded with a mission to help innovative community benefit projects share their stories and raise the funds they need to launch, whether run by a social enterprise, a not-for-profit or a local community group or changemaker.

Like all the other crowdfunding platforms out there, our focus was (and remains) to build great tools to help for you to rally your community. For many platforms, that’s all they do, leaving projects to sink or swim entirely on their own. But we wanted to go further than that, because it was never about throwing projects out there, it was about helping them to succeed, and this, we rapidly learned, meant also focusing on coaching entrepreneurs on how to use these tools effectively.

We put more emphasis on coaching and supporting people to set up projects which succeed, which is why we have the highest success rate in cause crowdfunding.

But still, we were dissatisfied.

There are great ideas out there that struggle to get the attention of funders – particularly those with the capacity to make bigger investments – and which fail to gain the momentum they need to reach their goals, despite the quality or importance of the idea. While crowdfunding is an amazing tool for making new things possible it’s not a meritocracy with regards to those ideas. Those with more resources, connections, marketing experience and time will naturally tend to do better.

We kept asking ourselves how we could best help the best projects, based on the quality of their ideas, and help connect them with potential funders.

The answer came to us thanks to a conversation with ING DIRECT Australia. They had a somewhat different problem they wanted to solve: they were keen on supporting more grassroots projects, but uncertain about how to differentiate between the volume of ideas they were likely to receive without staffing up a major foundation, which they didn’t want to do. They also wanted to better leverage all their resources, including their communications channels and relationships, to support these projects, not simply provide a grant.

And a new approach to funding innovation was born.

Introducing Crowdmatch


We now call this model Crowdmatch, and we’re really excited about how well it works for both entrepreneurs, who get a huge boost at the start of their campaigns, and for our funding partners, who see their risk reduced, their funds go further and their community get more involved.

Crowdmatch sees a funding partner support a group of projects either from the start of their crowdfunding campaign, by providing up to half of the funds they are seeking, which then needs to be matched by the community, or at the end, based on meeting specific goals.

The goal of Crowdmatch is to better connect philanthropic giving with community aspirations and impact investing with market input.

The combination  gives social entrepreneurs and non-profits the best chance to raise the funds and rally the community backing they need to do good, while making institutional funding more targeted and impactful.

With ING DIRECT we are now into our third year of Dreamstarter and the sixth cohort of projects supported through the program will launch in two weeks. Through Dreamstarter ING DIRECT have invested about $200,000 in community benefit projects and together we have helped them crowdfund more than $300,000 more, with a 90% participant success rate.

We are working hard to increase the number of these opportunities available. Just in the last week we have launched two new opportunities.

New Crowdmatch Opportunities:

EFF Social Enterprise Design Challenge cover image

The Social Enterprise Design Challenge presented by the English Family Foundation is a rare and exciting opportunity for Australian-based non-profit social enterprises to design and test a “visionary” new project.

It will fund four projects for half their fundraising goal, up to $15,000 each. Find out more about what they’re looking for and how to apply here. Applications due by May 5.

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 9.06.58 AM

The Young Changemakers Crowdmatch will support Australian changemakers aged 18-29 to develop and run crowdfunding campaigns, with $5,000 in match funds going to the projects with the most supporters and most funds raised at the end. Participating projects will get help from experts in both organisations and have their campaigns promoted to over 150,000 people.

Find out more and how to apply here. Applications due May 1.

Why just Australian opportunities? Because that’s what these particular partners are looking to fund and who is live right now, but we hear you, we want to create opportunities for everyone reading this and are in discussions with potential Crowdmatch partners in several countries. If you would like to see this model available to great projects in your country we would love your suggestions for potential partners as we are looking for new partners to add new opportunities all around the world! And if you are that potential partner, well….

Interested in Changing the World Together?

You can find out more about partnership opportunities with StartSomeGood here and when you’re ready get in touch with us here. We’d love to talk with you about collaboration!



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Community Helps You Reach Your Goals


“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” -Steve Jobs

At StartSomeGood, we love the crazy ones, the innovators, the change-makers. If that sounds like you, we will do everything we can to help you succeed. If you’re committed to achieving your goal, we’re committed to helping you get there.

StartSomeGood exists to help as many social entrepreneurs and community groups meet their funding goals as possible. We were founded to help foster innovation and support new changemakers.

We do that in a number of ways: by providing a beautiful, easy-to-use website with great fundraising and sharing tools; by working hard to give great advice and coaching; and by linking your campaign to great funding opportunities and a community of potential supporters who care about creating a better future.

When you start a project with StartSomeGood, you’ll have access to our global support team to help shape and optimize your campaign. Once you launch, we’ll be sharing your campaign through our social media channels and looking for opportunities to promote your project to media and partners.

Our community is filled with people who – like you – strive to make the world better. Like you, they’re interested in new approaches to creating social change and inspired by the entrepreneurs and organizations stepping forward to make it happen. If you’re launching a social enterprise or fundraising for a social cause this is a much more targeted and relevant community than arts-focused or generalist platforms.

But none of these factors alone are why we have one of the very best campaign success rates of any crowdfunding platform. It’s because of the commitment of the entrepreneurs and organizations using our site and their ability to inspire a community around them. We simply do our best to help boost their efforts.

And it’s not just helping via advice or cheering you on, we’ve designed StartSomeGood with a model that we believe helps you succeed, and key to that is our unique Tipping Point model, which combines the best elements of traditional “All or Nothing” and “Keep What You Raise” crowdfunding.

In particular, it is far superior to “Keep What You Raise” in helping projects reach their goals. That’s what we mean by being committed to reaching your goal. You put a line in the sand and commit to raising the funding you need to make your campaign really happen, which gives potential donors the confidence to know that their funds will really go towards an activity they care about.

Our model, advice and support helps you optimize your crowdfunding campaign to give you the best chance of success. But don’t take our word for it. Listen to what past campaigners and current community members have to say:

“Trek To Teach is growing faster than I anticipated and without a doubt, that is because of StartSomeGood’s support” – Brad Hurwitz, Founder Trek to Teach

“I really appreciate the quick feedback. I love StartSomeGood and I look forward to future campaigns and paying it forward by supporting other social entrepreneurs!” – Brandon Greene, Out the Mouths of Babes

So what are you waiting for? Start your project today and get access to our superb change-making community and team. Start now. 

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Make 2016 a Year for #StartingGood


2016 - SSG (Create Change) (1)

I don’t know about you guys, but 2015 was a pretty massive year here at StartSomeGood.

There were some great wins this year. We raised investment for the first time and launched a worlds-first collaboration with an impact investor. Our partnerships such as ING Dreamstarter, FreoMatch and Pitch for Good were huge successes. Our success rate remained a near industry-leading 53% and we launched our popular masterclass as an online course at Udemy.

We also made a lot of mistakes, learned a lot, and fought hard to make the progress we did, like most startups.

We ended the year with two huge milestones: 1. the launch of our new platform and brand and 2. reaching 600 successful projects and $6 million AUD in processed funds.

If you haven’t had a chance to explore the new site, here’s what’s new:

  • Fresh new brand and design;
  • Improved project set-up flow and resources;
  • Mobile responsiveness;
  • New categories including Social Enterprise, Indigenous and Animal Welfare;
  • Credit card processing in 10 countries with Stripe (previously only offered in the US and Australia).

And this is what stays the same:

  • The best advice and support for social impact projects;
  • One of the highest success rates in the industry;
  • Great Crowdmatch partnerships to help you access more funds and co-investment;
  • A unique focus on supporting projects and organizations that make a positive impact on the world.

And here’s our new brand, like it?


This makes 2016 is a very exciting year for us. We are ready to step it up and make an impact on a bigger scale than ever before. We aim to help more projects raise more money this year than in our history to date. We have some great Crowdmatch co-investment partnerships coming up and continuing and an exciting roadmap of improvements to the platform to make it even easier to use and to share and support the projects you care about, as well as new functionality to power the partnerships which help make us unique. We’ll need to keep iterating and improving the way we deliver support, the way we tell stories, the way we build our community, constantly learning as we go.

Our mission is to support social entrepreneurs and changemakers to create the progress their communities need. The world needs innovation and social progress desperately, and that usually comes from hard-working social entrepreneurs and community groups willing to try something new in their pursuit of making a difference. Exactly the people we serve. The rise of social enterprise is a huge and exciting trend but the change in our economy towards community benefit won’t just happen on its own, it needs champions and it needs infrastructure. Our mission is to be that champion and provide that infrastructure.

So whatever your social good goals are for 2016, we want to help you achieve them! Get in touch or hit Start A Project on the homepage and tell us what you’re working on.

From all of us at StartSomeGood, go well this year! Let’s create change together.

Tell us how you’re #StartingGood in 2016 and win one of our CEO Tom’s favourite changemaker books.

Share your goals for the year using the #StartingGood hashtag and tagging @StartSomeGood on Instagram or Twitter by January 14. Someone from each platform will get their choice of books from the below.

win me #startinggood (3)

The books chosen by Tom as some of his best reads for changemakers.