On May 30th I attended a Crunch info session at the Melbourne Uni Business School. It was very informative and I got really excited that my project is at the perfect stage to enter into the program. Successful applicants get paid to attend and are expected to put in 2 days of work per week. The program brings you from having a well researched concept to having a fledgling business that can pitch for funding and launch from there. The minimum investment last year was AU150,000, with these being non-recourse loans at 6% interest. Some funding is also provided with no expectations of return (i.e. a donation). There is also a repayment holiday until the business is cash positive.
Basically getting into the Crunch would put you in the ideal position to start your business. It is free, guides you along the right path and puts you in touch with mentors and philanthropists that you would never meet on your own. It would be a dream to have all that for YESS.
Unfortunately, I spoke to the presenter, Lisa, about my idea and she said that Social Enterprises don’t really have any money to spare and that I’d have to really clarify what exactly I am providing them. I don’t know if I can get to this point by July 3rd when applications close, but I’m going to try damn hard!
The next stage is to undertake the ‘Pre-Feasability’ section of the builder, and get my application together. After figuring out YESS a bit more…
YESS is a co-design studio and consultancy that specialises in empowering social enterprise (SE). YESS believes that design thinking and its tools and techniques can be applied to help SE reach their potential by bolstering value and identifying opportunities. SE is the future of business, as it considers the triple bottom line in order to function in a sustainable manner. Therefore it is important that SE’s are nurtured and encouraged to grow.
The short term goals of YESS are to:
- Undertake project collaborations with SE’s,
- Provide a collection of easily accessible resources
The long term goals of YESS are to:
- Nurture and grow the SE community
- Create a design thinking toolkit that SE’s can use independently
This outcome will be achieved by creating a business plan and pilot enterprise to present to Social Traders Mindy Leow, and to be put through their ‘Crunch’ program later in the year. With Mindy’s support, YESS will approach one or more social enterprises to collaborate on trial projects in July through to October. The ideal outcome will be a fully functioning, co-design studio that can launch in 2013, with the support of seed funding and partners.
See yessstudio.com for more information.