Pollinators have invested in the initial development phase of “Groundswell” to create business support programs and investor networks that enable the growth of high-potential organisations in the Midwest.
Groundswell is a response to the lack of structured business support for high-potential organisations e.g. organisations with $200k-$1 million turnover whose next phase of growth may required outside investment and is likely to involve creation of 5-10 jobs. Together Pollinators and MWCCI have the networks and some of the expertise, neither are sufficiently resourced to deliver structured, intense programs to these target market. Groundswell is so named because our region needs a means to build a ‘groundswell’ of support and create the ‘wave’ of momentum for those high-potential organisations. While in the early stages of development, we’ve had strong support from MWCCI (building on the ACDC-MWCCI-Pollinators Alliance) and other partners who see the same need and potential.
There are multiple challenges and opportunities that contributed to this need being identified and solution being proposed, including:
- Good support for Startups through Pollinators membership, and programs like Catalyst, Flock, and Startup Weekend,
- Strong networks and government funding for organisations that are established, or that have over $1 million turnover,
- A ‘gap’ in structured support for those that have found a sustainable business model and are seeking investments to scale and grow,
- A pool of potential (local and national) investors interested in local investible propositions, but without much structure, education or functional networks,
- Increasing interest in collaboration amongst Pollinators, MWCCI, local business advisers, entrepreneurs and investors,
- Local organisations already seeking support through investment and support programs in Perth and other capitals.
Initially, Pollinators are seeking funding to support a 1-year “project” in 2015-16 to develop and fund a sustainable “program” that would commence in 2016 and repeat annually, enabling 10 local organisations (commercial ventures, social enterprises and non-profit organisations) each year to take that next step of growth.
The Groundswell program to be designed and delivered 2016-19 is likely to be a time-bound (e.g. 6 month) program with a mix of workshops, individual advice and investment-readiness support, punctuated with presentations to potential investors. It would have some similarities to a later-stage versions of Catalyst, Curtin Ignition, or Australian Technologies Competition.
The annual Groundswell program would use a relatively small investment to leverage much greater private investment, job creation and excellent economic development returns.
For Groundswell to proceed, it would need government and private investment. A funding application has been submitted to one government program, and additional applications are being considered.
We are currently seeking Expressions of Interest from individuals and organisations that may like to contribute to Groundswell as:
- Advisers and facilitators.
For any inquiries, please contact Andrew at Pollinators on (08) 9965 5371 or via community [at] pollinators.org.au
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