A new crowdfunding initiative (in Australia) is set to help emerging social entrepreneurs quickly attract seed capital, build a supporter base and raise the profile of their social ventures internationally.
This initiative in Australia, called Dreamstarter, is a collaboration between popular crowdfunding site StartSomeGood, the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and ING DIRECT and will reportedly work to break down traditional fundraising barriers.
In its inaugural round, Dreamstarter will give ten social ventures the opportunity to raise between A$10,000 and A$50,000 as well as receive support from ING DIRECT.
The Chief executive of The School for Social Entrepreneurs expressed excitement about the ability of the Dreamstarter campaign to fast track the development of Australia’s social entrepreneurs and their enterprises. “Dreamstarter will allow these inspirational Australian entrepreneurs to instantly tap into an international community of engaged supporters at StartSomeGood and with the backing of ING DIRECT will also open doors to further support from with their staff, clients and community,” she said. “We also hope to inspire others to get involved and realise their dreams for setting up social change initiatives in their communities.”
The first three ventures to go live on the site include a project to connect remote Aboriginal entrepreneurs to new markets via an online store (Enterprise Learning Projects), an initiative to help rural communities in Malawi to achieve greater self-sufficiency (Empower), and a campaign to publish a series of children’s books and digital apps to inspire connections through creativity (A Girl in the World).
According to one of StartSomeGood’s founders, this project is also the first time in Australia that a corporation has supported a crowdfunding platform designed specifically for social change projects. “Crowdfunding is a participatory model that democratises corporate philanthropy. The projects that will succeed are those that have a genuine mandate from the community,” StartSomeGood Australia says that all ten ventures to go live on the Dreamstarter site have been developed by its graduates.
ING DIRECT commented that it was a natural fit for the bank to support the Dreamstarter initiative. “At ING DIRECT we strongly support innovative projects that address real community needs. Being a direct bank we see great potential in leveraging the digital medium in this way.”