There are an estimated 20,000 social enterprises in Australia, and this number is on the rise. As young people cite climate change as their number one concern it’s no surprise that the new generation entering the workplace and forging startup businesses, are more concerned about the environment, and social justice than simply profit.
Research shows that many of these social enterprises face a lack of resources for business growth, such as marketing, and so the creative brains behind Brisbane-based The Commune Space have launched a new grants program to support these business with branding and design.
These community grants for social enterprises – which equates to a total package worth over $8,000 are a helping hand for businesses that operate on tight budgets, with little or no room to spend dollars on brand-building services, such as design and branding, marketing, PR and copywriting.
The two grants available have been appropriately titled The Change Maker Grant & The Change Disruptor Grant, and are available from August 11 to eligible individuals and organisations.
The Commune Space is run by creative-duo Jess & Brenton. The pair built the primarily B2B agency to offer all-inclusive creative services. Think designing, planning, style and execution to help businesses in Brisbane and beyond.
They spotted an opportunity to ‘give back’ to enterprises that are making a difference, partnering with complementary suppliers in the marketing sector to provide advice, expertise and services that the startup founders may not have, but that will be essential for their business growth and to solve their problem.
Co-founder Jess said: “The Commune Space is first and foremost built by community peeps (Brenton and myself), to see and create good for this planet we call home.
“So, we wanted to extend the ‘good’ even further: by offering community grants to the businesses who are setting out to make changes for the better in our society, but who also needed a bit of a helping hand.”
It’s a helping hand for a department that is sometimes the last to receive love in the form of precious dollars, but is the first that is noticed by potential customers.
The Commune Space saw how having a strong brand personality and aesthetic has helped organisations such as ‘Thank You; and ‘Who Gives A Crap’ and given them real presence and recall amongst target audiences, and wanted to offer the same for smaller companies without big marketing budgets.
“We understand that sometimes design is the last thing a social enterprise can afford to get fancy with, because they have more pressing things on hand (like trying to make a difference in the world). So this our way of saying – Hey, we notice you, and this is our way of saying thanks.”
Two grants are available and have been deliberately designed for different purposes; the first offering, named The Change Maker grant is available to individuals or organisations, offering graphic design and branding services, while the second named, The Change Disruptor grant has been curated specifically for social enterprises, start-ups with a cause, not-for-profits and the like and includes design & branding, marketing, PR and brand strategy.
Businesses can apply for a relevant grant from August 11. Applications close September 8. To find out more about The Commune Space and the Community Grants, visit www.thecommunespace.com.au