Skip to main content Skip to main navigation
Skip to access and inclusion page Skip to search input

Media releases

Westpac Foundation awards $1.5m to five Australian social enterprises in new grant program

9 December 2016

  • Five not-for-profit social enterprises awarded up to $300,000 each over three years, through Westpac Foundation’s new Social Scale-up grants.
  • The new grant program funds organisations with a proven model for creating jobs and employment pathways for Australians in need.
  • This program builds on Westpac Foundation’s long track record of support for social enterprises, with around $14 million in grants awarded over the past 10 years.  

Westpac Foundation announced today it had awarded grants of up to $300,000 each over three years to five not-for-profit social enterprises across Australia, through its new Social Scale-up grant program.

The successful recipients were selected based on their proven models for creating jobs and employment pathways for fellow Australians who needed it most:

  • Bama Services: An Indigenous-owned civil construction, building and landscaping services enterprise based in Cairns, Queensland.
  • Green Connect: Creates jobs for resettled refugees and young people in the Illawarra, NSW, region through keeping waste out of landfill, composting and growing chemical-free food.
  • Jigsaw Business Solutions: Provides employment, work experience and skilled development opportunities to people living with a disability.
  • STREAT: Tackles youth disadvantage and homelessness by using its hospitality businesses to provide a supported pathway to careers in the hospitality industry and independent living.
  • The Bread & Butter Project: Provides training and employment pathways to refugees and asylum seekers in the art of bread and pastry baking.

Westpac Foundation CEO Sinclair Taylor said the work of social enterprises in creating employment pathways was critical to those Australians facing barriers to gaining mainstream jobs.

“The human toll on those individuals and their families is significant. People who are unemployed over long periods of time are more likely to become socially and economically isolated and to suffer mental health issues,” Mr Taylor said.

“We have designed our new Social Scale-up grant program specifically to support those social enterprises that are using innovative business models to tackle this challenge.”

Mr Taylor said in addition to its financial contribution, Westpac Foundation also offers grant recipients support through its ‘More than Money’ program in which Westpac Group employees offer non-financial support.

“By combining multi-year financial and non-financial support, we aim to help build the capacity of the selected social enterprises. This will help to maximise their financial resilience and impact so they can continue to deliver more jobs and employment pathways for fellow Australians in need,” Mr Taylor said.

“We’re excited by the prospect of backing our first five amazing Social Scale up recipients. Each has a clear passion and conviction to make a positive, measurable difference for their fellow Australians. We are confident that these organisations will make a great contribution to strengthening our communities.”

The Social Scale-up grant program builds on the long history of support for Australian communities offered by Westpac Foundation since 1999. Around $14 million in grants has been awarded by Westpac Foundation to social enterprises over the past 10 years.

For more information, visit: > Grants > Social Scale-up Grants