Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the format of the accelerator?
The accelerator is run through a combination of one-on-one coaching and intensive face-to-face blocks of three days over six months (12 days in total). We also have a showcase after the program finishes where you will need to commit another day to prepare and deliver. During these intensives you will be introduced to frameworks, tools, and real-life examples to challenge and equip you to run a sustainable business. You will also have time to reflect, apply and learn from other passionate and talented entrepreneurs in your cohort.
Will I get one-on-one attention?
Yes. Our cohorts are relatively small, meaning there will be on average 8-12 businesses in the cohort and 2-3 facilitators and IBA staff during the sessions. You will have regular 1:1 sessions with a dedicated coach throughout the entire program (around 8 hours of support in total). The benefits of being in a group program is the learning and wisdom you will receive from others in the cohort who are on similar business journeys. If you aren’t sure a group-based program is right for you, or you have some specific, time-bound challenges that you need to solve, chat to the accelerator team about other options for support.
What will I learn?
You will learn how to develop and grow a viable business that also delivers positive outcomes for your community. We call this ‘doing good and making money’. Some of the specific stuff we will cover includes business and financial modelling, social outcomes measurement, customer testing, sales, management, investment and finance and operations. We like to think of the content as life skills because we teach you to think differently and concepts that are applicable for many different areas of your life and will be used continuously, no matter how many businesses you launch.
How much time do I have to commit to?
You will be required to attend all of the intensive blocks plus the showcase (so roughly 13 days of contact all together over six months) and commit to working “on your business” (rather than in it) every single week. This includes activities, testing and modelling that we will be asking you to do before and after the sessions finish. Some entrepreneurs will already be working full-time in their business and others will be still developing it part-time or on the side. You can work with your coach to develop a plan of work and accountability.
We find that businesses who dedicate time each week outside the sessions get better outcomes. At the end of the day, it’s your business and it is up to you how much time you dedicate outside the sessions. If you don’t think you can attend all of the intensive blocks, we would encourage you not to apply. They are structured and sequenced in a way that it is hard to catch up if you miss. We understand though that sometimes life happens, and in these cases we will try our hardest to catch you up.
What will the accelerator cohort be like?
Many people say that when they join the IBA accelerator they find a group of like-minded Indigenous entrepreneurs who support them and understand them in ways that others can’t! The cohort is made up of people from all walks of life from across Australia, from different business sectors and slightly different stages. Your cohort won’t be all like you and that’s a good thing; you will value the different perspectives they will bring to your business.
I am still in the process of launching my business or I have an idea. Can I still apply?
This depends. We generally prefer businesses that have commenced operations, have begun to interact with customers in some way or are transitioning from a charity or government dependent model. But if you have an idea you have been working on for some time, have significant experience in the sector the business works in or previous entrepreneurial experience, we encourage you to apply. We will assess on a case by case basis.
I’ve been operating my business for a number of years and I am well established. Can I still apply?
Again, this depends. We encourage more established businesses to apply if the founders feel that they feel that they lack the knowledge, confidence or capability to grow the business beyond its current operations or the business model isn’t working in its current form. For example, you might be running a business as a sole trader for a number of years but see market potential or potential for scalable impact but lack the skills or know-how to grow. This goes beyond a need for a specific type of expertise or need for investment to grow (in this case you should go directly to IBA).
What will I get out of the accelerator?
The goal of an accelerator is to help entrepreneurs and enterprises work through two years of business building in a few months. We like to think of it as ‘slowing down to speed up’. At the end of our accelerator you will know where your business stands, and what the next steps need to be, and how to resources these steps. You will also gain a community of like-minded Indigenous entrepreneurs and business owners, broader networks, confidence in your strengths and gaps and ability to communicate and pitch your business like a pro. Some businesses pivot and change their whole model through the program, others refine and gain new customers and networks.
How much will it cost?
The cost of the accelerator is fully subsided by IBA. This includes the cost of the program and most travel costs including flights and accommodation. You will be required to pay for some meals on the ground (usually dinner), incidentals and costs of getting to the airport from your home.
When is the accelerator held?
The program will commence in November 2019. We will kick off with one-on-one coaching to fully prepare you for the accelerated journey ahead. There will be four intensive blocks focused on key areas of your business, with four-weeks in between each block to allow for the application of the material on your business. Each intensive will run for three days from Tuesday to Thursday. In between each intensive, you will receive two, two-hour one-on-one coaching sessions with a facilitator or mentor to customise the learning to what you and your business need right then and there.
How many people can I bring from my business?
To maintain the quality of the program, and to provide tailored support to each enterprise, we have a max of three participants per business. We prefer the founder(s) of the business and those who are able to make strategic decisions or are in a leadership role of some kind. We find that usually half the cohort are solo founders and others come in teams.
We also prefer the same people attending each block for consistency and group dynamics.
I’m not sure if its right for me, how can I learn more?
We know that this is a big decision for some, so if there is anything you are unsure about we encourage you to contact the IBA accelerator team at and schedule a phone call where we can go over all your questions. We can also put you in touch with accelerator alumni to hear about their first-hand experiences in the program.