I CAN Network

I CAN Network is driving a rethink of autism, from ‘I Can’t’ to ‘I CAN’. I CAN mentors young people on the Autism Spectrum to live life with an ‘I CAN’ attitude and brings out the ‘awe’ in AWEtism through education, advocacy and providing opportunities. I CAN has built networks across schools, universities, TAFEs, communities, businesses and governments and is Australia’s first social enterprise founded by people with autism.

Social Venture Partners Melbourne Team – Lead Partner David Legge, Wayne Saunders, Paul Higgins, Anne Warner.

How we assisted

ICAN is maturing and as they consolidate Social Venture Partner Melbourne partners has assisted in supporting the CEO by producing a 5 year forecast and with the HR issues relating to the growing organisation.   As total employee numbers have grown (now 44 and growing), ICAN needed to develop a wage and salary structure that supports their growth into the future.  This is a complex process and the CEO and Board have approached it in a well-considered manner. Anne Warner assisted with this.

The growth and focus on the Online Programs that was encouraged by Social Venture Partners Melbourne has become a major avenue of growth for ICAN.  We will continue to assist with the growth in this area of the business.  The Online opens up a range of possible business streams and ICAN will need support to capitalise on this opportunity.

David Legge joined the board as an independent director (Core Enabler) of ICAN with a more business focussed view.  As opposed to most other key staff and directors, David has no previous connection with or direct experience of Autism.  Social Venture Partners Melbourne will continue to provide support where needed as the business grows.

The impact

The major impact has been that the structure and the online opportunity highlighted by Social Venture Partners Melbourne has become a significant part of the business model. This has assisted in the winning of additional grants and funding that will ensure organisational growth into the future. 

“ICAN Network is a great example of the potential of a well-managed social enterprise that can impact the lives of thousands of people.  Social Venture Partners Melbourne can offer a range of skills that will allow the organisation to reach its full potential.  Even though the funding was very important initially, the major input required is advice.  ICAN is very appreciative of the support from Social Venture Partners Melbourne and hopes to be able to draw on our knowledge base into the future.” David Legge – Lead Partner, Social Venture Partners Melbourne.

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