COVID-19 and its impact on the Australian Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.

Has COVID-19 caused any substantial changes to your operations? 

Some of the changes highlighted included: 

  • All services (place based programs, events and support, including partnership arrangements) now provided remotely 
  • Revenue and Funding challenges
  • Challenges fulfilling face to face commitments, speaking at events and conducting workshops
  • Increased workload
  • Focus on portfolio support much higher now, focus on capital preservation

Most significant changes your organisation has seen due to COVID-19

Other challenges included:

  • Supporting those on the ground to change to digital offerings, especially in areas where they don’t have internet.
  • Capacity of the team in between their own personal challenges while self-isolating and with no volunteers.
  • Entrepreneurs are not as digitally aware or knowledgeable as they need to be to pivot their offerings to a new marketplace or about government economic relief packages


We also asked about the most significant challenges that you see the ecosystem facing as a result of COVID. Some of the responses were:

  • The demand for services from the social system will be greater than ever but concerns that issues such as gender diversity and climate change will take a back seat, as attention is diverted to traditional economic stimulus.
  • Government stepping in and directing what the recovery should be (top-down approach).
  • Migrapreneurs might find it hard to get funding/traction 
  • Working from home is difficult and can be isolating and compounding other problems
  • Change in business model for those relying on face to face. 
  • Those most vulnerable falling through the cracks – also those who don’t engage online can get lost or forgotten.
  • Keeping our stakeholders and partners engaged and motivated. 
  • Ensuring the work we do is still relevant and not a bandaid in these challenging times.


We asked what are the biggest opportunities for ecosystem collaboration and support through Covid-19. Some of the responses were:

  • We need a strong and overwhelming voice that shows that social impact businesses can also provide the economic stimulus required to take us through the other side. 
  • Collaboration on large contracts as the government puts out initiatives. Too often these funding opportunities are dominated by big city firms that have no affinity with rural and regional areas but are able to convey confidence by their size, not necessarily their ability to deliver relevant and timely content.
  • Set up small bridge funds to support diverse founders whilst other funding is low. 
  • Keeping entrepreneurs engaged to reduce the effects of feeling isolated.  
  • Shifting to virtual delivery
  • Moving quickly to solve new problems and leveraging structural shifts in society and the economy 
  • Entrepreneurs are connecting with each other more and more often
  • Entrepreneurs are being supported to think outside the square and provide a different service model / offering
  • Entrepreneurs are becoming more tech savvy
  • Stakeholders are engaging more and being invited to more ‘meetings’