Deloitte ‘angels’ use pitch-fest to test Perth social entrepreneurs


5 November 2013: Partners from the Perth office of professional services firm Deloitte have put social entrepreneurs through their paces to try and identify innovative approaches to achieve social change.

As part of the inaugural Changemakers Festival, and with the support of StartSomeGood, Deloitte’s Social Innovation Pitch Night, held on the evening of 4 November 2013, saw four local Perth social entrepreneurs, Colin Mackay-Coghill, Heather Pitman, Margaret Soumelidis and Stefany Wayte, pitch their ideas for social change to a panel of three judges: Deloitte Perth Partner Michael McNulty; Kevin MacDonald; and Jacquie Thomson.

Those attending the public event were asked to vote for their favourite idea, and the winner was Heather Pitman’s idea for Whitelion, a social enterprise idea aimed at supporting youth at risk of being involved in the youth justice system and at reducing recidivism. Whitelion works with young people to create real opportunities for them and help them with long-term sustainable employment pathways. Heather will receive $5,000 of mentoring assistance from Deloitte professionals to develop the idea.

Deloitte has joined forces with The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) as sponsor of the Changemakers Festival, which takes place around Australia from 1-10 November.

The Changemakers Festival encourages leading thinkers and local organisations to share ideas on how social innovation can tackle some of our toughest social challenges. Activities include:

  • Corporate participation on social change projects involving organisations, like Deloitte, and their employees to use their skills to drive change in their local communities
  • Social enterprise, driven by ‘impact investors’ as alternatives to traditional charity and welfare programs
  • The ‘Sharing Economy’ – making greater use of resources, reducing consumption and our impact on the environment
  • Citizen-led change – co-design and co-creation of social services and change programs by the citizens  they aim to assist
  • Crowdfunding of social change projects by harnessing community support.

Carolyn Curtis, Acting TACSI CEO welcomed Deloitte’s support of the Festival and said she was thrilled to see so many people hosting and attending events.

“It’s amazing to have more than 150 events listed in our first year, and to see leading organisations in business, government and the social sector collaborating and celebrating all the great work that’s happening,” she said.

“The Changemakers Festival is bringing together thousands of people, ideas, and projects that can create change in our communities, across our country, and for our planet. It’s an exciting time.”
Deloitte will host similar pitch events in Adelaide (6 November), Brisbane (6 November), Canberra        (5 November), Hobart (6 November), Launceston (6 November), Melbourne (6 November), Parramatta  (6 November), and Sydney (4 November).

Cindy Hook, Deloitte Partner, National Audit and Advisory Leader and executive sponsor of the firm’s Responsible Business Program, said, “I’m very excited about the Changemakers Festival and its potential for creating a positive impact on communities across Australia. Innovation is in Deloitte’s DNA and this festival is a wonderful example of the power of innovative thinking, action and collaboration to solve social problems and benefit the broader community.”

Other Changemakers Festival events in Western Australia include:

  • Scaling and Sustaining Social Impact – Pollinators (12 November in Geraldton), which is designed to teach local social entrepreneurs to scale up their social venture or project.

NB: See our media releases and research at

Follow us – @DeloitteNewsAU , @OzInnovation