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Annual Community Grants Program

Social Enterprise Business Planning Grant

Grants of up to $2,000 are available under this category to:

1. Assist existing local social enterprises to engage an external professional service that can assist with the ongoing operation and sustainability of the business (such as marketing, web design, and book-keeping)

2. Provide funding for existing not-for-profit organisations who are at the concept development stage of a social enterprise project and need assistance in the research, development and writing of a social enterprise business plan.

Project funds for business plans can be used to engage the services of a business planning consultant, or to fund the research activities and staff time associated in writing a business plan.

Social enterprise definition

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Social enterprises are defined as having the following characteristics:

  • Social, environmental, cultural mission/objectives core to purpose and focus;
  • Limited distributions of profits – the majority of profits are reinvested in the enterprise and/or an associated social entity;
  • Generation of a social return in addition to a financial return, and commitment to demonstrating this;
  • Can have a mixture of capital inputs – the enterprise is supported through a mixture of grant income/subsidised income and trading income, but must trade;
  • Favour democratic decision-making structures and seek high levels of accountability to their stakeholders, rather than just to shareholders.


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Applications must be from an incorporated body or eligible social enterprise structure.

To be eligible for this grant you will need to provide at least one quote for the professional services you plan to use.

If using the grant funds to pay internal staff to undertake the business planning research and writing, you will need to clearly identify which staff positions will be undertaking the work and must include a clear breakdown of the relevant staff pay rate/s and the anticipated hours to be worked (both those funded by the grant and those to be paid from another source, if relevant).

Available funding

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$40,000 is allocated to the Small Grants Fund and the Social Enterprise Business Planning Grant.

The maximum funding available in this category is $2,000. City of Parramatta Council will only fund one application over a calendar year, regardless of the number of applications received from an organisation.

Program timelines

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Applications are open all year round. Assessments for the Quarterly round will be done on the following dates:

  • 2 August 2024, Friday
  • 1 November 2024, Friday
  • 7 February 2025, Friday
  • 2 May 2025, Friday

These grants can take up to 3 months from the assessment deadline before payments may be made. To avoid disappointment, ensure your project is scheduled to start 3 months after the upcoming quarterly grants assessment deadline. Successful recipients in this category are required to:

  • Show that funds will be spent within 12 months of receipt of funding.
  • Acquit within 4 weeks of project completion.

Failure to acquit the grant will affect any future funding requests.

How to Apply

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All applications for funding grants are completed online through SmartyGrants.

You only need to register once. If you previously applied via SmartyGrants you can use your existing password and login.

Contact us

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You need to discuss your project before you submit your application. Contact our Social Investment Officer, Lucy Brotherton on 02 9806 5792 or

To find out more about funding opportunities, workshops, leadership development, forums, training and more in the Parramatta and Greater Western Sydney area, subscribe to Parramatta e-news.

If you have general grant questions, you can contact our Community Grants team on or call 02 9806 5110.

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