August 25, 2015
Monday 24th August was Pitch Day for the 2015 Melbourne Crunch participants, presenting their social enterprise and business ideas to a panel of investors and a crowd of social enterprise supporters – the culmination of six months work on their start-up social enterprise ideas.
Dubbed the ‘Social Enterprise Shark Tank’, Social Traders’ Pitch is an opportunity for each enterprise to showcase their social purpose, potential for impact, business model and projected revenue to a panel of investors which this year included:
- Libby Ward-Christie, Head of Investment and Advisory, Social Traders
- Ben Gales, Chief Executive Officer, Social Enterprise Finance Australia
- Megan McDonald, Manager, Customer Experience – Access One, Marketing and Customer Experience, Australia Post
- Catherine Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation
This year’s Crunch participants presented enterprise ideas to the panel ranging from sustainable solutions for food waste, performing arts programs, social enterprise volunteering, hepatitis awareness and management training, digital storytelling and inclusive opportunities for people living with a disability.
“All the Crunch enterprises that pitched are to be congratulated on their work – several sparked my interest as a potential social investor and I know many of my fellow panel members felt the same. The pitchers all did a great job of articulating the social problem they are aiming to address and confidently presented how their social enterprise will provide a solution to that problem. Well done!” commented Social Traders’ Head of Investment and Advisory, Libby Ward-Christie.
The importance of the event is for social enterprises to be able to demonstrate their ‘investment-readiness’, the market testing, forecasting and planning that they have built into their business plans alongside their social purpose.
“Investment-readiness is one of the most critical issues confronting social enterprises not just here in Victoria and Australia, but right around the world,” said Social Traders Managing Director, David Brookes at the opening of The Pitch, “this is why Social Traders has had an unwaivering commitent to focus on providing business skills and access to networks to social enterprises.”
The Social Traders 2015 Crunch program is now finished, from here the participants will take the feedback from their presentations and continue to work on their social enterprise start-ups to secure investment.
“This isn’t the end, this is just the beginning of the next chapter and we’re really looking forward to seeing where it goes from here,” said Glenn Fernandez, Project Manager for the Ugly Juice Truck at the close of the event.