Australian child psychology services provider and publisher Quirky Kid is growing up, receiving significant federal and state government support to take its strategies for tackling children’s mental health issues to Australia and the world.
Quirky Kid has been named among the first seven successful recipients of a grant from the Department of Social Services (DSS) $7 million Sector Readiness Fund (SRF), managed through Impact Investing Australia’s Growth Grant.
Quirky Kid, founded by the visionary duo Dr Kimberley O’Brien and Leonardo Rocker, is a provider of mental health services for children, as well as educational publishing services, products and software.
The $130,000 grant from the SRF will be used to engage Social Impact Hub’s services to help Quirky Kid become impact investment ready, including working with Quirky Kid to deliver impact assessment and a capital raise by July 2020.
Earlier this year, Quirky Kid was selected to join two International immersion programs, the Dubai EdTech Bootcamp organised by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) and the India Entrepreneurs International Bootcamp funded by the NSW Government and led by the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship.
Quirky Kid also exhibited at the world’s largest trade fair for children’s literature and creative content, The Bologna Book Fair in Italy.
Last year, Quirky Kid received two prestigious nominations at The London Book Fair, winning the Best Educational Initiative Award for Basecamp®, an educational program designed to support children to manage anxiety. Basecamp® has also received two other local awards and nominations, such as Best Designed Educational Primary / Secondary Book at the Australia Book Designer Awards.
The SRF aims to change the way Australia addresses social issues by investing in growing enterprises delivering positive social outcomes. In announcing the SRF grantees on 17 May 2019 (former) Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher MP said: “The seven social impact investment organisations [have] demonstrated growth potential to deliver positive social outcomes.”
“Social impact investments can be a game changer in the approach to some serious and entrenched social issues and the Sector Readiness Fund forms part of the Government’s commitment to tackling disadvantage through innovative financing models,” Mr Fletcher has said.
Quirky Kid, described by the Sydney Morning Herald as a “quiet Australian success story, used by thousands of organisations around the world” link to report, has been diligently delivering innovative products and solutions for schools and families, such as a new online application to support parents and professionals called BriteChild (see https://britechild.com).
Quirky Kid is a resident at The University of Wollongong incubator, iAccelerate, which is committed to helping social entrepreneurs deliver meaningful impact.
“Quirky Kid has taken an innovative idea to deliver mental health services for children and are building a thriving business with a social conscience. We look forward to continuing to support them further on their journey,” iAccelerate CEO Omar Khalifa said.
Dr O’Brien and Mr Rocker said: “Since 2016, we have engaged an incredible team to make sure we can raise the necessary capital to escalate our impact and commercial success. Our ambition is to continue to scale without compromising our impact”
Quirky Kid is due to open a third clinic in Canberra at the end of 2019.
Founder and Director of the Social Impact Hub, Jessica Roth and her team are delighted to be working with Quirky Kid. According to Jessica: “Impact investment will help Quirky Kid scale its business, to deliver its quality programs to more kids and families, leading to improved wellbeing and outcomes for many, as well as generate financial returns for impact investors. The Social Impact Hub is committed to supporting purpose-driven businesses as they scale, and we are thrilled to have won an Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant to work with Quirky Kid.”
Sabina Curatolo, Director of Social Enterprise Development at IIA added “raising capital to grow these for-purpose businesses often requires new skills and advice that these change-making entrepreneurs would not already have. The grants from this new fund enable successful applicants to seek this specialist advice from intermediaries, enabling their businesses to grow and increase their impact. In this way, we are also encouraging growth in intermediaries which is key to effectively growing the impact investment eco-system.”
About Quirky Kid
We’re one of Australia’s leading Child, Adolescent and Family Psychology Clinics and passionately committed to providing clients with the highest standard of service delivery. Quirky Kid is a member of the University of Wollongong business incubator program, ‘iAccelerate’. We operate clinical spaces in Sydney and Austinmer with a new clinic opening soon in Canberra.
You may also know of Quirky Kid as an award-winning publisher of unique therapeutic resources for young people and families. These include Face it cards, Tell Me A Story cards and the popular programs, Power Up™, The Best of Friends® and BaseCamp which are used in schools around Australia and overseas.