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Incubating the social entrepreneurs of the future

5 June 2014

 Our wealth management business BT Financial Group is partnering with the School for Social Entrepreneurs to launch a new program, the SSE & BT Social Entrepreneur Incubator, designed to back Australia’s emerging social entrepreneurs.

The program will offer a unique combination of personal and professional support for up to 25 entrepreneurial individuals with an idea for a start-up social venture.

The School for Social Entrepreneurs brings to the program its proven track record in running learning programs, having supported more than 250 social entrepreneurs since 2009.  BT will provide financial support and business expertise to the Incubator and mentoring for students on the program.

School for Social Entrepreneurs Chief Executive, Celia Hodson, said the Incubator will prepare students for the best start to their entrepreneurial journey.

“It will bring together a diverse cohort of social entrepreneurs who are totally driven by a social mission and need to make a difference,” Celia said.

“The program will give students them the very best start possible by allowing them to tap into the talent and expertise of staff across BT, giving them the confidence and networks to make a real difference in their communities.”

BT Financial Group chief executive, Brad Cooper, said the Incubator project aligns perfectly with BT’s vision to help people prepare for their best financial future.

“We are excited to provide support directly to entrepreneurs to prepare them to launch social initiatives that deliver positive social change,” Brad said.

“It’s a terrific opportunity for BT to get involved with innovative Australians who really want to make a difference within the community. Our funding will provide the opportunity for 25 students to participate in this nine month program.  Even more important will be the opportunity for BT staff to share their knowledge with the students and provide real support as mentors,” he said.  

SSE’s connection with BT grew out its well-established relationship with Westpac Foundation, as a community partner and grant recipient since 2008.
“We've been working with Westpac for a number of years, and this is the first time we've had an opportunity to work with BT to build capacity in our own organisation and to reach out to a much wider pool of social entrepreneurs in Australia,” Celia said.

Previous School for Social Entrepreneurs students have included Jamie Moore, the General Manager of Hello Sunday Morning, which tackles binge drinking culture in young people, and Michael Combs, founder of Career Trackers which works with private sector companies including Westpac and Indigenous university students to create career pathways through internship programs across Australia.

Applications for interested students will remain open until 11 June 2014.