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 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, measuring and validating your business model, to work out whether your start-up has legs.

If you are not yet trading, we have developed a free online resource – The Builder – that 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 ST Crunch for?

Crunch is for enterprises who:

  • have started piloting or are in the first 12 months of trading so you have trading data that will help validate your social enterprise
  • have a solution to a social problem, have tested how it will make money and can show us who’s buying, and intend not to rely on grants in the long term
  • have experience in your industry or have proof that your idea has worked elsewhere
  • need some assistance to consolidate information before taking the next step

We also have a particular interest in working with enterprises who are providing employment opportunities for marginalised groups.

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 validating your sustainability or  whether your enterprise is doing the best it can – attracting customers and creating impact – and what else you need to do.

How is ST 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, input from relevant industry professionals, 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 and 1:1 time with Crunch during work hours in Melbourne. Workshops are held July – October with the final event in November.

Our experience tells us that you should plan to spend two to three days a week working on your social enterprise during the 19 weeks you are in Crunch.  Crunch will give you the framework, tools and support to build your enterprise – how far you get will depend on how much time you can put to working on your enterprise.

When does it start?

Crunch 2017 Round 2 commences in early July with 1:1 pre-program meetings, program kick-off is on the evening of July 24.

How much does ST 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.

There are a small number of fully subsidised places offered at no cost for Victorians under 26 year old. If you fall into this category, please indicate this on your application form.  Thanks to support from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, this is the last year we are able to offer this fantastic opportunity.

We also have a fixed number of fee paying places at $20,000 excl. GST.  Note these places are still subsidised by the Victorian Government.

How do I apply?

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

  • Social purpose – the problem you are trying to solve, evidence that this problem exists, how you are looking to solve it and how you will measure impact.
  • Business model – we want to know about your product/service, your current or future customers, and why they buy from you and not the competition.
  • Financials – we want to know your turnover and see your financial statements or annual report.
  • Your goals – we want to know your vision –what impact do you want to create?
  • Your team –  we want to know you and who is on your team. How many people work on your social enterprise and why do you feel you are ready now?
  • Evidence – we want to know what work you’ve done on your enterprise to date, what you’ve tested, how you’ve tested, and what you’ve learned.

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

Applications for round 2 in 2017 are now closed.

Who can I speak to about ST Crunch?

If you have a quick question about ST 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