Optus: social impact guidance to improve investment readiness

Singtel Optus is a leading integrated telecommunications provider in Australia. Singtel Optus seeks to shape positive change for its staff, customers and local communities, including by harnessing innovation to connect to ‘vulnerable youth to their potential through our digital technologies and innovative programs.

The Future Makers Program (FM Program) is support program for social entrepreneurs, start-ups and charities who have a technology solution that addresses challenges for vulnerable and disadvantaged people. The FM Program seeks to develop emerging innovators technology solution, build their business, social impact and tech expertise, and provide an opportunity to pitch for funding from social impact investors.

In order to improve the investment readiness of these emerging tech solutions, Singtel Optus wanted to ensure FM Program finalists were equipped with the skills needed to accurately measure and report the social impact of their emerging tech solution.

CEI developed a Social Impact Guide for the FM Program and facilitated additional training on key messages. The purpose of the Social Impact Guide is to provide FM Program finalists with a practical ‘how to’ guide to: (i) develop an evidence-informed program logic model, including the importance of actively considering best current research evidence of ‘what works’ and how to approach this, (ii) monitor outcomes, including how to use key data to continually improve the tech solutions, and (iii) measure and report impact. Singtel Optus is using the Social Impact Guide for its 2018 FM Program.

By better understanding the ‘what’ and ‘why’ ‘how’ of measuring and reporting social impact, FM Program finalists are better able to develop evidence-informed tech solution to improve the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged people and improve the investment readiness and attractiveness of their tech solution to potential impact investors.