Funding for Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) is now available to enable them to adapt one of their business lines if they choose to move towards a social enterprise business model in 2012-2013. The funding will assist ADEs in moving towards the Australian Government’s Vision for supported employment and a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The goods or services that will be funded under the Social Firm Transition Fund include stock and equipment, professional and legal advice, infrastructure for IT and other systems, marketing and communication costs, research and development and staff training and recruitment.
Funding for the ADE Social Firm Transition Fund in 2012-13 is $1.75 million. All payments will be made to ADEs by 30 June 2013. No funding has been allocated beyond 30 June 2013. A capped amount of funding per applicant has not been allocated.
from 18/02/2013 to 15/03/2013
How to Apply?
Who to contact?
Questions and Answers
Q1. What is a social firm?
A social firm is a not-for-profit business which creates accessible employment for people facing barriers to work as a result of mental illness, disability or other disadvantage.
A social firm has a supportive work environment that:
- employs between 25% and 50% of employees with a disability
- pays all workers at award/ productivity-based rates
- provides the same work opportunities, rights and obligations to all employees
- generates the majority of its income through the commercial activity of the business
- has any modifications required for the employee in need of support built into the design of the workplace
Q2. Is there a funding limit per proposal for the ADE Social Firm Transition Fund?
A capped amount of funding per applicant has not been allocated. All payments will be made to ADEs by 30 June 2013.
Q3. Is this funding for a grant or a loan?
Successful applicants must agree to and sign a variation to their current funding agreement with the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).
The funding available under the Social Firm Transition Fund will not be provided as a loan.
Q4. How long do we have to transition one of our business lines to a Social Firm?
Selection Criterion One asks applicants to describe how the proposed social firm will be made viable over a three year timeframe. Criterion Two asks applicants to describe how the proposed social firm will achieve paying all workers at award-based or productivity-based pay rates and a workforce with at least 50% of its employees without a disability by 30 June 2016.
Q5. When can I apply for funding from the Social Firm Transition Fund for ADEs?
Australian Disability Enterprise organisations (ADEs) can apply for funding from 18 February 2013. Applications will close at 2.00pm AEST on 15 March 2013.
Q6. How do I get further information about the Social Firm Transition Fund for ADEs?
Applicants should read the Program Guidelines and the Application Form carefully. If you need further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Department’s responses will be limited to clarifying matters relating to the Program Guidelines and the Application Form.
Q7. What is the process for applying for funding under the Social Firm Transition Fund for ADEs?
Applicants must apply using the Application Form which is available from the FaHCSIA Current Funding page. Applicants should also read the Program Guidelines carefully. Applications should be emailed to email@example.com by 2.00pm AEST on 15 March 2013.
Q8. Is my organisation eligible to apply for funding?
ADEs that are currently funded by FaHCSIA to provide disability employment assistance services are eligible to apply for funding. Organisations which are not funded by FaHCSIA to provide disability employment assistance are not eligible to apply for funding.
Q9. Can the funding be used to reimburse an organisation for equipment or services that have been purchased previously?
No. Equipment or services that have already been purchased are not eligible for funding under the Social Firm Transition Fund for Australian Disability Enterprises.
Q10. When do applications close?
Applications will close at 2.00pm AEST on Friday 15 March 2013. FaHCSIA may reject any application lodged after the closing time and date. FaHCSIA has no obligation to accept a late application. Any decision by FaHCSIA to accept or not accept a late application will be final.
Q11. When will my organisation know if it is successful?
The assessment and approval process will take approximately four weeks. The announcement of successful organisations will follow the assessment and approval process. All applicants will be notified of the outcome in writing.
Q12. How will I find out if the application has been successful?
The contact person nominated in the organisation’s application will receive written notification of the outcome of the application. Successful organisations will be listed on the Department’s website. Unsuccessful organisations will be given the opportunity to seek feedback on their applications.
Q13. What happens if we are successful and when can we expect the money?
Successful organisations will be emailed or posted a Letter of Variation to their current Funding Agreement in which the approved item or service to be funded and the amount of money to be paid will be described.
Q14. Can more information be provided on the proposed Social Firm having at least 50% of its employees without a disability?
Selection Criterion Two states that by 30 June 2016, the Social Firm has a workforce which has at least 50% of its employees without a disability.
At least 50% of employees on the payroll of the Social Firm will be employees without a disability.
Q15. Is the Supported Wage System (SWS) Wage Assessment Tool the only tool which is acceptable under the Social Firm model?
SWS is a tool which assesses wages on the basis of productivity and would meet the requirements of Criterion Two. Most other tools, including the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT), are hybrid tools (having both productivity and competency elements) and therefore would not meet the criterion. Tools that are solely competency based would also not meet the criterion.
Q16. Does all funding allocated to ADEs from the Social Firm Transition Fund need to be spent by 30 June 2013?
Successful applicants to the Social Firm Transition Fund will be expected to spend the funding by 30 June 2013.
Q17. Can one ADE organisation submit more than one application to the Social Firm Transition Fund?
An ADE organisation can submit more than one application to the Social Firm Transition Fund. Each application should be on a separate Application Form.
Q18. Is the transition to a ‘Social Firm’ optional or compulsory for ADEs?
Transition to a Social Firm model is optional for ADEs. Funding for Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) is now available to enable them to adapt one of their business lines if they choose to move towards a social firm business model.
Q19. If the ADE is included in a broader organisation, does the ADE or the organisation need to be compliant in respect of 50% of the work force not having a disability?
Selection Criterion Two states that by 30 June 2016, the Social Firm (ie the ADE business line which has been transitioned) has a workforce which has at least 50% of its employees without a disability.
At least 50% of employees on the payroll of the Social Firm will be employees without disability.