Start-Up Accelerator

Social enterprise is pivotal to solving today’s social, environmental and economic issues. Capacity building is a critical part of the solution.

Social Traders’ Crunch helps build and create social enterprises – that’s what we do.

We know that you are not motivated just by the bottom line, that you are motivated to create good in your community, and that you need support, skills and networks to get there.

We are here to help.

Social Traders’ Crunch start-up accelerator will help you build your social enterprise by testing and measuring to work out whether your start-up has legs.

If you are not yet trading, we will help you lay bare your customers and why they’ll buy from you – ultimately helping you do more social good.

If you have an enterprise that’s already had a few months up and running, we will help you work on your business – not in it – so that you can affirm where you are going, what impact you’re after and the steps towards achieving that.

 Program Details:

Who is Crunch for?

Crunch is for enterprises who:

  • have a solution to a social problem and an idea of how it will make money and an intention not to be reliant on grants
  • have experience in your industry or have proof that your idea has worked elsewhere
  • have either done some testing of your social enterprise but need help before piloting OR have piloted/are in the first 12 months of trading so you have trading data that will help validate your social enterprise
  • need some assistance to consolidate information before taking the next step
What are the benefits?

Crunch will help you to build your business, understand who will buy from you and how that will help you generate social impact. It will also be loads of fun and pretty challenging.

Depending on where your social enterprise is at, you will focus on working out whether your enterprise is ready to pilot, or whether it is doing the best it can – attracting customers and creating impact – and what else you need to do.

How is Crunch delivered?

Crunch is delivered through a mix of face to face workshops in Melbourne with a cohort of similar stage social enterprises as well as individual coaching from Social Traders.

Participants will also receive mentoring from the corporate or start-up world, engagement from relevant industry professionals and experts, business analysis from MBA students as well as opportunities to meet and learn from Crunch alumni.

What's covered in the program?

As well as our own methods, Crunch uses global tried and tested business tools and tactics to help you develop the business skills you need to understand:

  • your social purpose and how you will measure your impact – why you do what you do
  • your business model – how your enterprise will make money
  • market validation – who will buy from you
  • how to build a financial model
  • what kind of people and structure you need to help guide you forward in the best possible way
What commitment is required?

We expect that you will have a team of at least two people that are able to work on your enterprise and attend Crunch workshops during work hours in Melbourne, approximately once a month.

Our experience tells us that you should plan to spend at least two days a week working on your social enterprise during the four months you are in Crunch.

When does it start?

Crunch kicked off in February 2017 with two strands – one for those who getting ready to pilot and the other for those who have started trading but are in the early days. Crunch 2017 round 2 will commence in July.

For those who are yet to pilot, the focus will be on validating your idea/concept.

For those who have started, the focus will be on validating your business model.

How much does Crunch cost?

Thanks to our partners Crunch is significantly subsidised, meaning we can offer you a place in the program at $5,000 excl. GST.

Thanks to support from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, there are also a small number of fully subsidised youth places offered at no cost for Victorians under 26 year old. If you fall into this category, please indicate this on your application form.

How do I apply?

To apply for the Crunch you will need to complete an application to demonstrate the following:

  • Social purpose – what is the problem you are trying to solve, how are you looking to achieve this and how will you measure the impact?
  • Business model – we want to know about your product/service, your current or future customers and why they will buy from you and not the competition
  • Financials – if you are not yet trading, we want you to think about the key activities for your social enterprise and what they will cost. If you are trading, we want to know your turnover and see your financial statements or annual report
  • Your goals – we want to know your vision – where do you want to be and what impact do you want to create?
  • Your team –  we want to know you and who is on your team. How many people will work on your social enterprise and why do you feel you are ready now?

Shortlisted enterprises will attend a warm-up to meet the Crunch team and test their enterprise model.

When do applications open?

Applications for our February intake are now closed. Applications for round 2 will open in May. Sign up to our e-bulletin to be notified when applications open. If you have any questions please email us at

Successful applicants will be invited to attend a warm up to pitch your social enterprise. At the warm-up you will pitch to a group comprised of other applicants, Social Traders staff and industry professionals and receive feedback from the group. There will also be one on one discussions about your business model, industry knowledge, program requirements and what you need.


Who can I speak to about Crunch?

If you have a quick question about Crunch or your application, email us at

If you’d like to talk with someone, book in a time with Rebecca Green, Crunch Engagement Manager, here:


“Crunch gave us a clear sense of direction. We now have much more confidence in our actions and we now have a phenomenal network to continue developing our social enterprise and enabling it to grow.” – GameChangers Australia, Crunch 2014 Alumni

“I loved the workshops and one on one feedback, even just listening to other enterprises and how they were tackling problems was useful. I really enjoyed it thank you for organising such a lovely program!” – Mesh Mash, Crunch 2016 Alumni