The Myer Innovation Fellowships support breakthrough solutions to Australia’s most pressing social and environmental challenges and bring new talent to the social sector. Fellows are offered funding and the unique opportunity to take twelve months away from their current role to pursue a big idea that has the potential to achieve positive social outcomes.

Mikhara Ramsing is a 2018 Westpac Social Change Fellow, a social entrepreneur and businesswoman, an activist for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) LGBTIQA+ inclusion, a QLD Young Australian of the Year nominee, a mentee and mentor. But just two years ago as she considered applying for the Westpac Social Change Fellowship, she shares how she was struck with feelings of self doubt as she wondered whether this was a program for people far more qualified than her.

Why is it that if a woman says she is going to change the world, the assumption is that she’s launching a not-for-profit organisation, a charity? While if a man says he is going to change the world, the assumption is that he’s launching a for-profit business? A powerful piece written by Cindy Reese Mitchell, CEO at The Mill House Ventures Ltd., on how the gender norms that hobble women’s full participation in business also applies to those who are passionate about social innovation.

A compelling pitch is much more than a summary of what you do — it’s a powerful tool to unlock opportunities, form relationships with investors or volunteers, attract funding, and inspire new audiences. Here’s five fundamentals for making your pitch unforgettable – because no matter what challenge you’re working on, your future could depend on the quality of your spiel.

Whether you’re an established organisation or just starting out, you can’t avoid the fact that you need finance to kick things off or keep them growing. You won’t always find a financial solution that is straightforward or simple. It’s likely you’ll need to work with multiple stakeholders on a “blended” finance structure. Read on for Sefa’s 4 Ps (Partnerships, Passion, Pathway & Persistence), on starting a social enterprise or investing in entrepreneurial growth.

The key to kick-starting your social enterprise dream is to turn inspiration into motivation and motivation into action. Many social entrepreneurs started their ventures as passion projects, but over time have reaped the rewards of running their own business. Finding funding is one of the biggest challenges faced by social entrepreneurs. You can have what you think is the best idea in the world but without the moolah to make it happen, it’ll be close to impossible to even get off the ground. But it’s not all doom and gloom – here are some awesome social enterprises that have harnessed the power of crowd to kick-start their social enterprise dreams.

Addressing the world’s most complex challenges by designing specifically for social impact is a largely untapped market with a continuously increasing demand. However, designing for social impact isn’t simply about creating pretty objects for a good cause or selling rad merchandise and giving a percentage of the proceeds to charity. In its ideal form, designing for social impact is envisioning the impact you want to have for a community or individual, bringing stakeholders into the process, working toward sustainable solutions, measuring the difference you’re making, and sharing your results so that positive impact can spread across the world.

Hearing input directly from your customers can be daunting for a social entrepreneur. You’ve likely put everything on the line for an idea that you believe in and while you know that seeking input from customers can be valuable, it can be a confronting exercise! Many entrepreneurs avoid research because of this, but those who do know that the payoff is big.

Nicole Gibson is an Australian multi-award winning social entrepreneur, Mental Health Commissioner, Speaker, Facilitator Unifier and Transformation Master. In this post she shares her experiences and what she learnt writing a book – that the more we become aligned to what it is we truly believe in, the greater and more precise the impact is we can make in the world.