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Social Enterprise Loan Scheme

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As a social enterprise ourselves, SERVICE ONE has a vested interest in supporting other for-purpose ventures and socially conscious businesses and enterprises. That is why we have made available a Social Enterprise Loan Scheme.

What is considered a social enterprise?

From a ‘for purpose’ social business idea through to an established social enterprise looking to further develop and commercialise their capabilities, for the purposes of this loan scheme, a social enterprise is defined as either an entrepreneur, venture or business that is designed to:

  • have a definable, measurable and attributable to efforts positive impact
  • make a positive social, environmental, economic and/or cultural impact, and
  • have a clear commercial capability to make money and self-sustain (and hopefully grow).

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About The Mill House

Loan schemes available

Funding is available under two different loan schemes:

  1. the Mill House Loans Scheme, and
  2. the Social Ventures Loan Scheme.
The Mill House Loans Scheme is almost an extension of our support for this social enterprise accelerator program (SERVICE ONE is one of the founding partners of the accelerator) to further assist entrepreneurs participating in the program with small loans to further develop ideas to a more investible and scalable size.

To qualify for one of these loans, the applicant will need to submit an application under a Mill House program. The applicant may or may not have received Mill House accreditation.

The Social Ventures Loan Scheme is for social entrepreneurs where the enterprise is providing a community benefit over and above a standard business enterprise.

As part of the Social Enterprise Loan Scheme, we understand the pressures of the sector and support required to turn an idea into a thriving reality. That’s why we assess these very much on a case-by-case basis, that may consider the long-term view to the earning potential of the venture, previous experience with the Mill House, potential for direct positive impact on SERVICE ONE Members and our communities in the ACT and surrounding NSW (among other things).

What loan funds can be used for

Depending on the stage of the social enterprise development, loan funds can be used for various purposes, including (but not limited to):

  • assisting to develop ideas to a more investible and scalable size (this could include items like developing a mission and problem statement based on input from real end-users, articulating your unique value proposition and how it differs from existing solutions, developing initial marketing and sales channels and/or delivering a minimum viable product or pilot of your business product or services to a real customer)
  • additional working capital
  • purchase of equipment or stock, and/or
  • other asset purchases.
  Loan eligibility:
Mill House Loans Scheme Applicant must be either currently participating in a Mill House Social Enterprise Accelerator program involving their business initiative that is to be supported by the loan funds, or to have been an unsuccessful applicant under a Mill House program.
Social Ventures Loan Scheme Applicant must be operating a social enterprise that targets areas of social disadvantage, employs persons from disadvantaged sectors or are themselves from a socially disadvantaged group.
  Key features of the loan product:
Minimum age of applicant 18 years
Interest rate 0.00% p.a. for loans up to $5,000, concessional fixed rate for loans over $5,000
Minimum loan amount $1,000
Maximum loan amount  $25,000
Minimum loan term 1 year
Maximum loan term 3 years (Mill House Loans Scheme), 5 years (Social Ventures Loan Scheme)
Loan application fee Nil
Monthly loan services fee Nil
Early repayment fee Nil
Loan security No security for 0.00% loans but for larger loans security would be taken where the loan funds are being used to purchase equipment or supplies.

How to apply

To apply for a loan as part of the Social Enterprise Loan Scheme, you need to first complete the online enquiry form. This will prompt you to complete some preliminary information we’ll need to ensure you’re eligible under the scheme and we may make some initial enquiries before requesting you to complete an application form to be submitted for formal assessment.

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