Deloitte ‘angels’ use pitch-fest to test Sydney social entrepreneurs


Deloitte ‘angels’ use pitch-fest to test Sydney social entrepreneurs

5 November 2013: Partners from the Sydney office of professional services firm Deloitte have put social entrepreneurs through their paces to try and identify innovative approaches to achieve social change.

As part of the inaugural Changemakers Festival, and with the support of StartSomeGood, Deloitte’s Social Innovation Pitch Night, held on the evening of 4 November 2013, saw three local Sydney social entrepreneurs, Kaitlin Tait, Nishan David and Jordan O’Reilly, pitch their ideas for social change to a panel of three Deloitte partners: David Redhill, Paul Dobson, and Katherine Milesi.

Those attending the event were asked to vote for their favourite idea, and the winner was Jordan O’Reilly’s Fighting Chance Australia, which works with school leavers with physical disabilities and has recently launched a micro-business called Avenue Fair Trade, designed to give young people with disabilities the opportunity for further education, skill development and vocational opportunities. Jordan will receive $5,000 of mentoring assistance from Deloitte professionals to develop the idea.

Professional services firm Deloitte has joined forces with The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) as sponsor of the Changemakers Festival, which takes place around Australia from 1-10 November.

The Changemakers Festival encourages leading thinkers and local organisations to share ideas on how social innovation can tackle some of our toughest social challenges. Activities include:

  • Corporate participation on social change projects involving organisations, like Deloitte, and their employees to use their skills to drive change in their local communities
  • Social enterprise, driven by ‘impact investors’ as alternatives to traditional charity and welfare programs
  • The ‘Sharing Economy’ – making greater use of resources, reducing consumption and our impact on the environment
  • Citizen-led change – co-design and co-creation of social services and change programs by the citizens  they aim to assist
  • Crowdfunding of social change projects by harnessing community support.

Carolyn Curtis, Acting TACSI CEO welcomed Deloitte’s support of the Festival and said she was thrilled to see so many people hosting and attending events.

“It’s amazing to have more than 150 events listed in our first year, and to see leading organisations in business, government and the social sector collaborating and celebrating all the great work that’s happening,” she said.

“The Changemakers Festival is bringing together thousands of people, ideas, and projects that can create change in our communities, across our country, and for our planet. It’s an exciting time.”

Deloitte will host similar pitch events in Parramatta (6 November), Adelaide (6 November), Brisbane (6 November), Canberra (5 November), Hobart (6 November), Launceston (6 November), Melbourne (6 November) and Perth (4 November). The Parramatta event will be judged by Deloitte Western Sydney Office Managing Partner Danny Rezek, and by Lyall Gorman, CEO of Western Sydney Wanderers, and Michael Wallsburg, Editor of Western Sydney Business Access.

Cindy Hook, Deloitte Partner, National Audit and Advisory Leader and executive sponsor of the firm’s Responsible Business Program, said, “I’m very excited about the Changemakers Festival and its potential for creating a positive impact on communities across Australia. Innovation is in Deloitte’s DNA and this festival is a wonderful example of the power of innovative thinking, action and collaboration to solve social problems and benefit the broader community.”

Other Changemakers Festival events in Sydney include:

  • People for Purpose – Leadership for Social Impact (4 November), which was designed to equip participants with the knowledge required to pursue meaningful engagement with the social sector
  • Think | Act | Change: The Great Asylum Seeker Debate (6 November), which will feature talks and panel and audience discussions
  • Building the Sharing Economy Workshop – Social Innovation Sydney (7 November), which will explore a range of legal and business issues for startup enterprises.
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