Social Enterprise capacity building

What makes us the best choice for social enterprise governance advice, training and resources?

We provide a range of training options designed specifically for social enterprises.

We understand social enterprises. We were one of the first social enterprises in Australia, with our values enshrined in our constitution, which states: "commercial imperatives are afforded equal priority to our social mission, our commitment to employees, and our responsibility to the environment in which we work".

Social enterprise month: training

Capacity building workshops

We have designed and developed a capacity building program for social enterprises based on our experience since 2000.

Unlocking the potential of your social enterprise

Communities and funders have prioritised working with businesses and services that make positive social and environmental impacts.

Despite leg ups with social procurement becoming a norm, social enterprises often struggle to make it work due to stage in their start-up (see: capital raising heartache) and the specific features of their businesses.

In this workshop we'll help you focus on the steps you can take to use an entrepreneurial mindset and unlock the potential of your social enterprise. The workshop covers:

  • Evaluating current business activities for viability and future potential, including how to make a dollar on your IP
  • Canvasing stakeholders for business ideas and options
  • Seeking government and expert advice where appropriate
  • Identifying and analysing potential markets / using feasibility studies
  • Creating, implementing and evaluating business plans
  • Where to go for help and resources

Leadership styles and assessment of strength

Leadership is one of the most important roles for a board member, yet we don’t often pause to assess and develop our leadership skills.

In this workshop we work through the following key questions about board leadership:

  • How is leadership perceived by different stakeholders
  • Why is leadership more important than management at the board level?
  • Which leadership style(s) best suit me and the people I work with and lead?
  • How does good leadership drive change?
  • How can I enhance my leadership skills?
  • And, on the flipside – how can I be an effective follower (followership)

A deeper understanding of how you lead can result in a more strategic board with a clearer vision of the way forward.

Communication: How to tell your story to stakeholders

Getting the message out about your social enterprise – its aims, activities and attitudes – is crucial in ensuring the public know what your group does, what it believes in and what it is working towards. Join us at this workshop for top tips for good communication and building your plan for communicating with your users, the media and other stakeholders.

  • Understanding your audience and your message
  • How to develop a communications plan – what, who, why and how
  • How to get your message out there – media, social media, networking
    • Dealing with the media
    • Social media platforms – pros and cons
    • The role of networking and volunteers
  • Simple ways to improve any copy
  • Communication resources, policies and procedures

Grant writing

In this workshop, participants are guided through the process of applying for a grant or funding proposal, using guidelines, templates and assessment criteria to create a compelling project plan. The creation of a realistic budget with in-kind contributions acknowledged, the use data and evidence to support the proposal, as well as the importance of creating timelines, backing letters and other evidence of community support are all covered. The workshop concludes with a question-and-answer session.

  • Where to find grants
  • Writing winning project plans: linking needs with solutions
  • Using data and evidence to support your project proposal
  • Creating realistic budgets
  • Showing evidence that you have the support of your community
  • Managing relationships and acknowledging funders
  • Acquittals and appeals

Project management and oversight (on a shoe string)

Project management is like steering the ship for your social enterprises mission.​​

It's the art of planning, organising, and guiding your projects to success. Think of it as your trusty roadmap. You'll set clear goals, figure out who's doing what (and when!), and keep a close eye on the budget. ​

​This workshop will cover:

  • What is project management?​
  • Scope​, timeline​, quality​, cost​
  • Human resources​
  • Risk management​
  • Information management and communications​
  • Procurement​
  • Stakeholder engagement​
  • Governance​
  • Three models of project management

Impact evaluation

An organisation which can use its data effectively will be able to tell a compelling story of relevance and success to potential funders, supporters and stakeholders. Impact evaluation does not have to be expensive and can be done on a shoestring by putting a few systems in place. Every social enterprise collects information, and often, an evaluation can be carried out, using just the information you are collecting anyway.

  • What data do you currently collect?
  • What is an outcome versus an output?
  • What are you trying to impact?
  • How will you ascertain how impactful your activities are?
  • Who oversees collecting the data?
  • Who oversees interpreting the data?
  • What data might you need, to answer the questions you have got about your impact?

Strategic planning - what's our story?

As the old saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. Strategic planning is the process social enterprises undertake to ensure they stay purpose focused – and establish that they have the resources to make progress towards their goals. In this workshop participants are guided to establish a strategic planning framework and are given some tools to be able to tackle the task with minimum fuss.

The workshop covers:

  • Strategic story – the role of narrative (where have we been, where are we now, where are we going) in shaping the future
  • Developing and reviewing your values, vision and purpose
  • Analysing the internal and external factors that could impact on your planning
  • Establishing strategic objectives
  • Implementing and monitoring your plan
  • Evaluating strategic performance
  • Long-term strategic planning and adaptive strategic review
  • Linking the strategic plan to operational and business plans

Social Procurement: standing out in funding applications

This workshop is designed to help social enterprises understand the concept of social procurement and learn strategies to enhance their grant funding applications.

We’ll cover:

  • Understanding social procurement
  • Key elements of a strong funding application
  • Differentiating your social enterprise:
    • Explore ways to differentiate your social enterprise from others in the application pool
    • The importance of a compelling mission and story
    • How to showcase the unique social value proposition of your enterprise
  • Leveraging partnerships and collaborations to enhance your application’s credibility
  • Challenges you have faced in previous applications and potential solutions.
  • Actionable takeaways and next steps


Online workshops

Online workshops can be delivered to up to 200 participants.

We can bring you an information-packed series of online workshops or you can schedule just one. Hear from experts on some of the hottest topics, trends and issues facing social enterprises.

Please note: some technical information

  • Participants will need access to a device with sound and reliable internet.
  • If you want to manage the registration process, we'll provide you with a Zoom invite link. If you would like us to manage the registration process, we'll send you a Zoom registration link instead.
  • If we register participants, a Zoom link will be sent to participants via email; just follow the prompts to join the online workshop.
  • Participants will be able to download the slides (if any) and any other documents shared during the online workshop and may be sent a copy of the recording within 24 hours of the workshop, if desired
  • Participants can always contact our team for help with any technical problems that arise.

Get in touch

The ICDA staff are experts at creating bespoke training sessions. Please complete the form below or email [email protected] or call us on (03) 9320 6800 to talk about your needs.

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