Guidelines &FAQ

If you are a mission-driven organisation and would like to consider applying for a Growth Grant, or are a capacity building provider who wants to learn more about the program - here is all you need to know!

Application

Application Guidelines

         IMPACT AREAS


We encourage applications from all organisations that focus on one or more of the following outcome areas:

         ASSESSMENT CRITERIA


The Growth Grant Panel considers a range of factors when assessing the applications. The most important ones include:


  • What is the grant leverage, i.e. the ratio between investment sought and grant amount?
  • How does the organisation measure the social and/or environmental impact?
  • Is the organisation able to self-fund the Provider’s fees?
  • Is the organisation led by a capable and experienced team?
  • Do the organisation and the Provider have a clear understanding of the funding they are seeking and potential investors?

         WHO CAN APPLY


The key eligibility criteria for grant applicants are:

  • Your organisation is based in Australia
  • Your organisation has a mission at its core that aims to solve a social and/or environmental problem
  • You have a sustainable and validated business model and a solid track record with the product/service you are planning to scale
  • You are planning to raise equity and/or debt financing within the next year
  • You are planning to use the grants funds to pay for external capacity building support that helps you to raise capital

         THE PURPOSE OF THE GROWTH GRANT


The Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant – previously the Impact Investment Readiness Fund - provides capacity building grants of up to $100,000 to mission-driven for-profit and not-for-profit organisations, allowing them to secure investment capital to scale their social or environmental impact. 


We know that many mission-driven organisations in Australia have the potential to scale and increase their impact, but need investment in the form of equity and/or debt to do so.


We also know that raising capital can be challenging and often intimidating. Support from capacity building intermediaries can be invaluable at this stage - for instance to build the financial model, get the legal structuring of the organisation right, develop the Information Memorandum, and engage with potential investors. However, paying for such support can be a challenge in itself.


This is where the Growth Grant comes in. We provide grants to mission-driven organisations to pay for the capacity building support needed to raise capital and fast-track their growth and scale of impact.

         APPLICATION PROCESS


If you believe you may be eligible for a grant, head to Application and fill out an Expression of Interest (we appreciate you save both you and us time and only complete it ifyou tick all the boxes for key eligibility criteria).


One of our team members will get back to you for a conversation about your eligibility, after which you may be invited to apply in one of the quarterly rounds.


After each round, the Growth Grant Panel evaluates the applications and decides who is invited for an interview.


After the interviews, the final decision on approval or rejection is made.

         WHAT GROWTH GRANTS FUND


All grant funds must be used to pay for capacity building services from external intermediaries (Providers) that are directly related to your investment readiness and securing capital. The support financed by the grant must get you all the way to your capital raise.


The support needed is largely dependent on the characteristics of your organisation, but often includes:

  • Financial modelling and preparation of the investment case
  • Preparation of term sheets, legal documentation and information memorandum
  • Review of the organisation’s constitution and legal structuring
  • Liaison with and introductions to investors


Growth Grants do not fund:

  • Costs for ongoing operations of your organisation and overhead costs (e.g. rent, insurance, wages, admin)
  • Product trials, clinical trials, MVP-stage
  • Marketing, branding and customer acquisition
  • Developing your business plan and strategy
  • Retrospective funds (support for activities which have already taken place)
  • Travel costs (e.g. investment roadshow)

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS AN IMPACT INVESTMENT?


Impact investments are investments that are intentionally made into organisations that deliver measurable social and/or environmental outcomes alongside financial returns.


WHAT IS IMPACT INVESTMENT READY?


Impact Investment Ready is an initiative that supports the impact investment ecosystem with two core programs. Growth Grants enable impact businesses to become investment-ready and scale, Discovery Grants support not-for-profit organisations that want to explore pathways towards financial sustainability. These programs do not only support mission-driven organisations with funding, but also strengthen the intermediary sector and build the impact deal pipeline for investors.


ARE GROWTH GRANTS REPAYABLE?


In general, Growth Grants are not repayable. However, the Panel reserves the right to provide grants under the condition of repaymentupon achievement of defined performance thresholds. Under such condition, the repayment is to be considered as an agreement between the Panel and the enterprise with the interest to maximise the ecosystem support of the Growth Grant funds, not an obligation. All further details are determined on a case by case basis.


WHAT IS GRANT LEVERAGE?


Grant leverage refers to the ratio between the grant amount and the investment raised. For instance, if an enterprise receives a grant of $60,000 and raises $1,200,000 in equity and debt funding, the leverage is 20.

During the Growth Grant's first 2 years, grantees who have successfully secured capital achieved an average leverage of 23.


HOW MUCH INVESTMENT ARE GRANTEES USUALLY LOOKING FOR?


Grant recipients typically seek between $500,000 and $3,000,000 equity and/or debt funding.


WHAT DOES A VALIDATED BUSINESS MODEL WITH A PROVEN TRACK RECORD LOOK LIKE?

The ​Growth Grant​ Panel looks for organisations to illustrate tangible growth in a ​validated ​business model. Though ​the metrics may vary ​between organisations, strong applicants will exhibit significant traction that places them well to raise investment capital. Often, a lack of investment capital will be the only factor obstructing ​the organisation from achieving scale.


HOW WOULD A SUCCESSFUL APPLICANT BEST MEASURE AND PRESENT THEIR SOCIAL  AND/OR ENVIRONMENTAL OUTCOMES?


A successful Growth Grant applicant will ​be able explain​ the societal outcomes they create and demonstrate how these outcomes are achieved. While there is no 'one size fits all' approach to outcomes measurement, the Panel expects that the applicant has found a method and metrics that best suit their organisation's needs.


DOES THE APPLICANT ALREADY HAVE TO BE IN CONVERSATION WITH A PROVIDER?


Yes, enterprises can only apply for a grant partnership with a Provider.


HOW CAN THE APPLICANT FIND AND ENGAGE WITH A PROVIDER?


Finding the right Provider who understands your business and can offer the support you require is essential for the success of your capital raise.


We highly recommend that you find one lead Provider who commits to go all the way to the capital raise with you. This organisations should have prior experience with investment readiness and connections to potential investors. For services outside of their expertise (e.g. accounting,legal…), you can subcontract a second or third Provider. 

For instance, you may work with your lead Provider on the financial modelling, investment documents, information memorandum and investor engagement and subcontract a law firm to help you with the legal structuring of your organisation.


At the time of your application, you need to clearly understand what will be required to get you to investment readiness and the costs associated.


WHO CAN BE A PROVIDER?


Providers can be organisations or individuals who provide services like advisory, legal, financial, or intermediary services that help the applicant to become investment-ready. When a provider takes three enterprises from successful application to investment, they will be credited with a Gold Star provider rating. If a provider is successful in receiving grant funds through the enterprise they are working with and fails to secure investment for the enterprise on the agreed conditions two times, they will not be able to apply for further grant funding. This is to ensure that the quality and effectiveness of the services provided to enterprises will give them the best chance for success.


CAN PROVIDERS INVEST IN ENTERPRISES THEY PERFORM CAPACITY BUILDING WORK FOR?


Yes. However, the Growth Grant Panel requires full disclosure if the Provider expects to take an equity component in the enterprise or a performance fee upon the successful capital raise. If the aggregated amount of the equity component and performance fee is greater than 10% of the total deal, this will reflect unfavourably on the applicant, even though it will not automatically make them ineligible for a grant.


WHAT IS A PERFORMANCE-BASED PAYMENT STRUCTURE?


The intent of the Growth Grant is to help enterprises with the greatest chances of success to secure capital investment. It has been designed based on global best practices and has incentives that help to achieve this outcome. We recognise that a significant level of responsibility sits with the providers to secure capital investment for the enterprise. Therefore, payment is split into two parts: 70% of the approved amount will be paid on approval of the grant, and the remaining 30% once the enterprise proves that it has secured the investment sought.


IF I RECEIVE A GRANT, WHEN CAN I EXPECT TO RECEIVE THE FUNDING?


The initial 70% of the grant funding are paid approximately 6 weeks after the application round closes.


DOES IMPACT INVESTMENT READY FACILITATE ACCESS TO INVESTORS?


We are aiming to support successful grantees in anyway we can, which also includes potential introductions to investors or other connectionsin our networks that may be of value. However, you should not rely on us to find appropriate investors for your organisation.


More questions? Contact us!


This website is managed by Impact Investing Australia

Level 13, 114 William Street

Melbourne Victoria 3000

Telephone: 0478 544 523

Email: admin@impactinvestingaustralia.com



The Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant is managed by Impact Investing Australia. The Impact Investment Ready Discovery Grant is managed by Philanthropy Australia

Growth Grant 

This website is managed by Impact Investing Australia

Level 13, 114 William Street

Melbourne Victoria 3000

Telephone: 1300 605 449 (tollfree)

Email: admin@impactinvestingaustralia.com

The Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant is managed by:












Grant decisions are made by an independent expert panel:

Who We Are

Independent Advisor on Impact Investing

Fiona Rowland

Good Shepherd Microfinance

Corinne Proske

National Australia Bank (NAB)

Impact Investing Australia

Katherine Leong

Daniel Madhavan

Fiona Rowland
Katherine Leong
Corinne Proske
Daniel Madhavan