sunset 476465 1920We all go through tough times, some more than others and some harder than others. Quite often, during these hard times, it is those who offer support and kindness that make it possible to get through them. No matter your situation in life, we all have the ability to help those less fortunate whether as individuals, community groups, businesses or organisations.

Canberra brothers Terry and George Snow established the Snow Foundation in 1991 to benefit the community in Canberra and the surrounding region.

Since its establishment The Snow Foundation has been an active supporter of local social innovations and programs, and works closely with key partners and organisations in Canberra to maximise the social impact of their contributions. In 25 years of operation, the Foundation has provided over $18 million to the local community and beyond.


The idea of doing things to better society is not a new concept, but encouragingly we are seeing a steady rise in organisations at all levels of success introducing a social focus to their operations. Perhaps one of the most important aspects is to focus on social innovation that addresses social problems as a whole, and across more than just the individual. The Snow Foundation is one such organisation.

SF logo copyThe aim of the Snow Foundation is to work with individuals and organisations that give their time to help the less fortunate live more fulfilling lives, particularly those whose needs are not covered by Government sources. The Foundation has supported initiatives related to vital equipment for people with disabilities, supported numerous health and homeless services through to setting up microbusinesses and providing education to help change people’s lives.

"We are open to take a risk and seed fund innovative ideas and solutions that aim for social change, and break the cycle of poverty and equip individuals to take responsibility for themselves," says Georgina Byron, CEO of The Snow Foundation.


A local initiative supported by The Snow Foundation is the ACT Microcredit Loan Program. Delivered by Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre (Lighthouse), this program grants small loans for businesses to low income individuals who are generally excluded from the traditional banking system. In addition to the financial funding, the program provides loan recipients with business skills and development, individual mentoring, peer support and access to networking events.

“The Snow Foundation has allowed us to expand the ACT Microcredit Program in a number of ways. Initially to support younger entrepreneurs and more recently to expand into the region with our first port of call being Bega Valley Shire,” says Anna Pino, CEO of Lighthouse.

“Without their support, this would not have been possible.”


The Microcredit Loan Program is a perfect example where individuals are given the opportunity to pursue a business idea enabling them to become financially sustainable, and giving them a positive purpose in their life. This all has an optimistic ripple effect on their family and community.

Since 2013, Lighthouse has used funding support from The Snow Foundation to facilitate a number of local entrepreneurs including young male fashion designers as part of a pilot shop ‘incubation’ retail collective called CBR Collective. Funding has since been used to help broaden the ACT Microcredit Program to address the needs of an increasing range of target groups.

If you would like to find out more, Georgina Byron, CEO of The Snow Foundation will be speaking at the Festival of Ambitious Ideas: Social Innovations on Thursday 18 August along with 12 other speakers who will be exploring opportunities, innovations and issues associated with social solutions and how Government, the not-for-profit and the commercial sectors can work together to make them sustainable.


About Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre
Lighthouse has a strong track record of supporting entrepreneurs, researchers and inventers on the path from concept to commercialisation. Since July 2008, Lighthouse has worked with over 990 distinct enterprises and provided group and peer based services to over 3400 enterprises and individuals. For over five years Lighthouse has successfully delivered business advice, education, mentorship and networking opportunities to help these businesses commercialise their ideas and grow their companies. Lighthouse also delivers programs such as the ACT Microcredit Program for the ACT Government. Visit for more information.