Category: Funding

A smiling black man wearing a cloth hat in a wheelchair looking at us with a positive expression

Reflecting on a shortfall

Given that our application for a grant from the Pine rivers and Samford Community grant saw us secure $5,500 rather than the $10,000 that we applied for, we are currently reflecting on how to cover the shortfall.  Don’t get us wrong, we are incredibly grateful for the grant monies we received.  There was a huge number of applications, so we know we are very fortunate to have received the monies that we did.

$5,000 of the monies we received will be used to pay for a critical programming expense.

Here are the few matters we need to raise funds for:

(i) Professional indemnity and public liability insurance cover ($1460);

(ii) Animation ($3,000); and

(iii) Digital subscriptions ($540)

The above items are important but not critical.  We will explore ways to cover these important expenses.

Determined young man with prosthesis trying up Nordic walking while spending actively his weekend

Sidney Myer Foundation

We recently lodged an express of interest in the Sidney Myer Foundation scholarship.  This would buy-out some of Gary’s time from Griffith University and AHRECS.  This is our third attempt at this large philanthropic scholarship.  We know it is highly competitive and so are grateful to be able to apply.  In fact, this is the last year where we will be eligible to apply.  So everyone please send positive thoughts in our direction.

If we are successful,  this will be a massive boost to the platform.  It also means that Gary stops trying to juggle three endeavours to the chagrin of family and friends.  This EOI is part of our ongoing efforts to raise the funds to set up and operate the platform.  If we are unsuccessful, this won’t delay the launch of the platform, but if would make it harder.  

Do you know an Australian with disability?  If so, encourage them to complete the short form below.  If they have any questions, they can reach us at [email protected] or by phoning 0436480769.  We are a not-for-profit service led and guided by Australians with disability.  

A silhouette of a man in a wheelchair beside a lake, fists raised in jubilation

We are ecstatic to share a grant win

We have been formally notified by the Queensland Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT) that our application for a Business Basics Round 3 ($5,000) has been successful.  Compared to the amount of money we need to fully launch the platform this is a small step, but we are ecstatic nonetheless.  The Queensland Palaszczuk ALP government is to be congratulated for this small business basics grant.

The application process was on a first-come and a finite funding basis, which was incredibly nerve wracking.  The application process was such that Gary would never have been able to apply without the talented support of our volunteer, John Blandford.  We suspect the processn would effectively exclude most entrepreneurs with a disability. This is feedback we have provided.

We appreciated the support of Gary’s Queensland State Member, Nikki Boyd MP.  In recent weeks, we have been notified of success is with: Pine Rivers and Samford Valley Community fund ($5,500), DESBT ($5000) and a charitable contribution from Outcomes Australia ($4400).  We have also been notified that our application for advertising support by Google has been approved ($13,000/month).  Individually these are small steps towards overall funding goal ($270,000) but they are incredibly useful steps.  A month ago we’re being stoic, now we are very upbeat about the future.

Disabled businessman celebrating his success while working with laptop on the building rooftop with sunrise background

Google Advertising sponsorship

Google has an advertising grant for not-for-profits that can be used for advertising on Google.  In the last few days, the platform lodged an application for this funding.  Our experience with the pilot test an our unpaid promotion suggests we need paid advertising to get the word out about disability entrepreneurship, its viability for Australians with disability, and the supp0rts the platform can provide.

We are excited by the possibilities of reaching a wider audience through Google ads.  All digits crossed for this one.  Rest assured we’ll be keeping our community of followers, supporters and friends posted.

Another grant would cover the design of the ad and campaign.  This is part of our continuing effort to get the platform up and running to support 1,000 Australians with disability. 

Active smiling young man with physical disorders enjoying natural views while resting on the weekend

Grant and money update

Flowing from our successful application to the Samford and Pine Rivers Community Grant fund and the generous philanthropic contribution by Outcomes Australia, we have recently had a welcome injection of cash.  And have been able to pay some urgent bills.  We have recently submitted two applications: The first, a Westpac Grant ($50,000 over two years) and the Social Enterprise Development Grant (Queensland government, $5,000 – $25,000).  These grant funds would be incredibly helpful.

We thank Griffith University and MS Queensland for their generous support towards these applications.  If we are successful with these applications it will take us a few big steps closer towards launching the platform as a national not-for-profit service for the Australian disability community.

We are currently working on two other applications for grant funding: The first, a Google grant for online advertising for NFPs; and the second, the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund – Round 9, which is a large grant.  These would see us set up very positively and in good shape for the future.

There is still a long way to go but we are feeling incredibly positive about the journey and we are grateful for the support we have received.

Inclusive Employment Grants

During the last few days, we have sent an Expression of Interest for the Westpac Inclusive Employment grant, which is worth $50,000 over two years.  The grant scheme relates to charitable social sector job-ready and employment programs.  Our enquiry is related to our collaboration with MS Queensland and we are incredibly grateful to David and the fantastic team at MS Queensland for working with us on this.

If our application is successful, it will fund the development of the following courses by the Griffith Business School:

(i) Micro online business courses that will be accessible for a wide range of disabilities;

(ii) A micro-course for new mentors who join the platform; and 

(iii) A micro-course that we will offer to employers on how to set up an accessible and inclusive workplace.

As our followers and supporters know, we have been chipping away, trying to raise some funding we need for essential components we need to develop. This mid-sized grant would make a massive difference to the future of this platform.

A pair of scissors cut the words I can not. concept believable. cuts the word un. I can, goal achievement, possible, potential, real overcoming. unpossible is believable.

Social Enterprise Development Grant

We have lodged an application for this Queensland government grant.  It is a medium-sized grant that would be incredibly helpful for the rollout of the platform as a national-not-for profit business incubator for Australians who live with a disability.

We are conscious that we are a bit of a disruptor of the usual approach to disability employment. We also know there will be a huge number of other applications, so we’re keeping our hopes in check.  We are a plucky start-up social enterprise and know only too well how hard it is to raise essential funding.

Know an Australian with a disability who wants to monetise a hobby/craft, start making money doing gig work or establish a small business?  Encourage them to complete the short form below.  Or they can reach us at [email protected] or by phoning 0436 480 769 if they have any questions.

An alert guide dog leading a sight-impaired man with a cane across a plaza

Round 9 of the Ignite Ideas grant fund

Over the last few days, we prepared an Expression of Interest for the Ignite Ideas grant fund.  This is a Queensland Government grant for small and medium-sized businesses.  This is a medium-sized grant, which could make a huge difference to the rollout of the platform.

The grant would fund:

(i) Social media promotion of the platform, membership, disability entrepreneurship and how the platform could support members to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations and potential.

(ii) Engagement of Griffith University researchers

(iii) Programming work.

(iv) Digital animation for the platform.

(v) Digital artwork for the platform.

(vii) Advice from the digital consultancy firm Digital8.

(ix) Advice from the strategic consultancy firm Mindhive.

This is part of our ongoing efforts to raise sufficient funds to allow us to start operating the platform and to assist Australians who live with a disability to pursue their money-generating aspirations and potential.