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Collaborating for job creation

Four social enterprises – Jigsaw, The Bread & Butter Project, YMCA ReBuild, and STREAT – will be the first to benefit from a new collaborative funding model that aims to create more jobs for vulnerable Australians.

Together, Westpac Foundation and nine partner organisations will invest $1.75 million in these employment-focused social enterprises to help scale their businesses to create an estimated 850 new employment and training opportunities over the next two years.

Each organisation will receive between $350,000 and $600,000 in multi-year funding, as well as ongoing non-financial support such as pro-bono legal and financial services.

According to Susan Bannigan, CEO of Westpac Foundation, “These four enterprises each have a proven track record for job creation and are ready for their next stage of growth. Rather than having to secure grants from multiple sources to make this happen, we were able to work together to build a business case with them and open the door to additional funding pathways.”

The Foundation’s new collaborative funding approach will enable Sydney-based social enterprise Jigsaw, an organisation that trains and transitions people with disability into sustainable, award wage employment, to expand its business to a second location in Brisbane.

“This collaborative support is transformative for our business. We plan to generate close to 300 training and employment opportunities across our two locations in the next two years,” says Paul Brown, co-founder and CEO of Jigsaw.

Jigsaw’s relationship with Westpac Foundation started in 2016 when the organisation received $300,000 in funding to help grow its Sydney operations.

“Since 2016 we have created 150 training and employment opportunities for people with disability. We have also secured over $1 million in document and data management contracts across the Westpac Group – who are now our largest customer alongside a range of local governments and corporates,” says Mr Brown.

Westpac Foundation’s decision to invest additional funds into Jigsaw, and three other social enterprises, is part of its 2030 strategy, focusing on deeper, more collaborative partnerships to drive greater impact. New to the approach this year is the introduction of additional funders to help the organisations scale more effectively.

“Working more collaboratively with multiple funders and organisations reduces the pain points in the funding process for these businesses. They are able to work with a single point of contact rather than many different funding partners, and together we can streamline our support and leverage our networks to help these organisations have the greatest impact,” says Ms Bannigan.

The Bryan Foundation, Berg Family Foundation, Scanlon Foundation, Gandel Philanthropy, Social Traders, MinterEllison, Partners Group Impact (Verein) and two private family foundations are the nine collaborators for this round of funding with Westpac Foundation.

Westpac Foundation welcomes potential funders and organisations who are interested in investing in social enterprise for job creation to connect with us. Our goal is to have a collaborative funding and support model in place for 100% of our social enterprise partners by 2025.