Social Enterprise Grants

If you have a great idea that would benefit the local community but just need a kick-start to get it off the ground, or if you're looking to expand or move your social enterprise to Parramatta, our Social Enterprise Grants program may be able to help.

Our grant may provide funding or another related benefit, such as a mentoring and advisory services to local organisations and businesses.

With a total pool of $80,000 per financial year in funding for social enterprise grants, our program covers a wide range of services and projects that directly benefit 1 or more of our Strategic Plan areas which include the following:

  • economy
  • environment
  • connectivity
  • people and neighbours
  • culture and sport
  • leadership and governance.

To be eligible for this grant, all applicants must provide:

  • a clear description of ‘theory of change’ for your social enterprise explaining how what you are doing will achieve positive outcomes in line with your mission
  • evidence of procedure or rules ensuring majority of profits are reinvested into the enterprise and are not allocated to shareholders, owners or members, or a plan for how this will be achieved during the funding period
  • evidence of a bank account in the name of the applicant (or the organisation providing support) with a minimum of two signatories, and a set of audited accounts or sufficient evidence that accounts and records are administered in a professional manner
  • a work plan detailing how the project will be undertaken to ensure that it can be completed within the funding period. The work plan needs to relate to activities relevant to the development of the business plan not the development of the social enterprise itself. 

Applicants also need to meet certain criteria for each proposed project before lodging a request. You can find more details below. 

Social enterprise business plan grants

Grants of up to $2,500 are available for groups or individuals at the concept stage of a social enterprise project. Project funds can be used to fund research, consultants and staff time associated in writing a business plan. 

Applications must be from an incorporated body or have an incorporated body providing support until the new entity is set up independently. If you're an individual applying under an organisation, you'll need to provide a letter of support showing their willingness to support your project and to take on responsibility for grant funds.

If you are an existing not-for-profit organisation exploring a new social enterprise concept, you'll need to provide evidence that the Board of your organisation supports the development of the concept and the inclusion of social enterprise activities within the service. 

Assessment criteria

To be eligible for this grant you'll need to provide:

  • a letter of support from your Board or the organisation providing auspice.
  • details of the relevant business-related skills you and others involved in the social enterprise have to help support the business planning process and the future establishment of the social enterprise (or plans to obtain these).
  • a clear explanation of why a social enterprise model is the best model for the proposed organisation/activities.
  • quotes for professional services involved in the development of your business plan or a clear, reasonable budget for developing the plan within your current operations. This should include an estimated dollar value for any in-kind or pro bono contributions.
  • Estimates setting a dollar value for the members’ time hours they have agreed to invest in developing the plan.
  • Business plan with your projections for growth. This includes:
    • projected income for a minimum of three years
    • details of projected social outcomes for Parramatta, resulting from the social enterprise operations
    • clear and realistic budget including properly costed expenditure and clear identification of how City of Parramatta's contribution will be applied

Growing social enterprise in Parramatta

If you have an existing social enterprise that is currently sustainable and you're looking expand your operation, our Growing Social Enterprise in Parramatta could be right for you.

Assessment criteria

To be eligible for this grant, applicants must provide:

  • evidence that your social enterprise is currently financially viable and sustainable
  • details of how your social enterprise has achieved effective social outcomes in line with your social mission including what measurable social or economic impacts you've made
  • a clear explanation of how the grant funding will assist with further improving your social impact and achieving your social mission
  • a business plan with your projections for growth. This includes:
    • projected income for a minimum of three years
    • details of projected social outcomes for Parramatta, resulting from the social enterprise operations
    • a clear and realistic budget including properly costed expenditure and clear identification of how Council’s contribution will be applied
  • evidence that your Board supports the proposed activity, if relevant.

Additional SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS 

In order to be eligible for funding, all applications need to be accompanied by the following supporting documents:

  • a copy of your organisation’s latest annual financial report;
  • a quotation for any equipment purchases over $300.

If you are successful in your application, you'll need to show appropriate insurance coverage for the funded activity and attached the Certificate of Currency to your application.

Assessment process

Our officers will assess all grant applications in relation to the assessment criteria for each program and these will be provided to Council for final approval. We will contact all applicants about the outcome of their application. 

Successful applicants are required to participate in a  range of capacity building activities to support their work.

Contact us

Assistance is available to organisations and individuals interested in applying for a social enterprise grant. Please contact our Community Capability Building team via email grants@cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au