It’s neither! Informed by our research and reflecting our Principle that hybridity is key, The Studio doesn’t adopt the language and methods of commercial entrepreneurship such as ‘acceleration’ – research tells us there is nothing fast and furious about social enterprise development.
Sometimes, it is hard to tell at the very early stages of an idea if it is a social enterprise or some other form of ‘for purpose’ business. We will assess your fit for The Studio when you apply, but as a guide… if your main reason for starting an enterprise is to solve a social and/or environmental problem; and you have a plan to achieve this through the sale of a product or service – then it’s highly likely that you are a social enterprise and The Studio is the place for you.
Take a look at our ‘Studio Approach’ page. The Studio offers individualised support involving social enterprise specific coaching, workshops, on-line resources, connection into the broader social enterprise ecosystem and possible Swinburne graduate student support to work on specific aspects of your social enterprise business model. Your time in The Studio will involve an ongoing process of reflection and adaptation.
Planning and developing a social enterprise is highly iterative – many things don’t pan out the way they are expected to – so, it is important that there is room to move forward and backward through the development process. We also know that enterprises come into a support structure like The Studio with differing personal and organisational competencies; the length of time you spend as a Studio Enterprise is designed around Enterprise needs and a mutually agreed plan.
Becoming a Studio Enterprise requires a one-off $500 contribution towards the cost of support. The remainder of the cost of your support is covered by Swinburne and our partner, Equity Trustees. We’re lucky to have received 3 years funding from Equity Trustees. Since launching The Studio, we’ve received large demand from Studio Enterprises and hope to continue to grow The Studio.
In addition to the financial contribution, social enterprises contribute their time and resources towards participating in The Studio and the associated body of work it generates. Studio Enterprises also contribute to the generation and sharing of knowledge by participating in The Studio’s research agenda. When you join The Studio, we ask that you consent to participating in our research.
A core Studio Principle is ‘open knowledge ’– an important part of The Studio is to build the evidence base to progress social enterprise practice. We do this by simultaneously supporting early-stage social enterprises and undertaking research. We then share this knowledge publicly and freely to grow the social enterprise sector. As such, when you join The Studio, you also agree to contribute to our research, but our outputs are anonymous; we don’t publish anything that could identify you or your social enterprise without your consent.
Yes, but you would have to be comfortable with working remotely and funding your travel to meet with us as needed. If you would like to discuss this with us, go to our Connect with The Studio page. Once you have submitted your details, we will be in touch to discuss joining The Studio.
Yes, but no! The Studio builds a community of practice specific to each Studio Enterprise. This means that at times, Enterprises will come together and at other times, we will work with Enterprises one-to-one.
To join The Studio, you must have a social enterprise (or an idea for one); we work with you on its development. The process is applied and adaptive. The Studio is not a leadership program or a social entrepreneur development course. That said, in moving through The Studio Approach you will develop competencies as a social enterprise founder that are necessary for the success of your organisation.