Movers, Shakers & Changemakers: May

Welcome to the May edition of Movers, Shakers and Changemakers. Once a month we highlight our favourite enterprises in the social and environmental sector. These are businesses that are proving you can do good and make money.

Read on to hear the stories of some enterprises doing great things in the space. First up, a Melbourne streetwear brand changing lives.

HoMie

"If we don't have a successful business, we can't have an impact"

— Nick Pearce, co-founder of HoMie

HoMie’s second venture is their Pathways Project. The project provides traineeships to young people who are experiencing homelessness or who are at-risk. The traineeships are undertaken in HoMie’s Fitzroy store where young people are trained, employed, mentored, and end the six month program with a Certificate III in Retail Operations. The trainees are then guaranteed employment with Cotton On. To date HoMie have helped 6 young people find secure employment. We love this project as it really proves that through running a successful business, you can change people’s lives. Watch Hayley’s story:

SHE Investments

SHE (support her enterprise) Investments was started to empower and support women business owners and leaders in Cambodia. 65% of businesses in Cambodia are run by women, but most are informal and small. SHE Investments are working to change this through their bespoke business development programs. They want to promote gender balance in the SME market in Cambodia by helping women to run scalable, sustainable and impactful businesses.

"Our vision is a world where investment in women entrepreneurs in developing countries is seen as opportunity, not charity"

— Celia Boyd, Managing Director of SHE Investments

SHE Investments run programs that focus on the development of leadership skills and confidence; teach business leaders how to accelerate growth and impact; and provide general access to information, training, mentoring and financing. At present, SHE Investments are 50% self-funded, and work every year to grow this number. We love their commitment to helping change women’s lives through business, we also love their drive to be self-sustaining.

North Home

NORTH are combining local indigenous art with luxury homeware products. The enterprise operates out of the Northern Territory and work closely with three incredible artists from around the top end. NORTH’s aim is to contribute meaningfully to the preservation of pride and independence among Indigenous artists, while broadening the exposure and availability of their historically important artworks, that are often not seen in urban areas of Australia.

"A major element of NORTH’s mission is to create a way to share the stories and raw talent of artists from remote communities"

- Crystal Thomas, North Home founder

Through purchasing the artwork produced by artists living in community, NORTH Home are providing income to Indigenous Australians allowing them to remain living in, and connected to, their communities. We love NORTH’s philosophy and commitment to bringing Indigenous art to the forefront of homeware design, and supporting people living in community.


Introducing 2017's Melbourne Two Feeters!

Melbourne Cohort 1

Melbourne Cohort 2


Announcing our Second leveraged Investment into the Pacific with Tanna Coffee

TDi are proud and excited to announce the second investment that we enabled into the Pacific. Following months of working closely with various partners across the region including DFAT and Pacific Trade & Invest, we are pleased to announce that we have leveraged $656,000 in investment capital,  for a business making a real difference to peoples’ lives in the South Pacific.


In 2015, Cyclone Pam devastated many of Vanuatu’s 84 islands. One island, called Tanna, suffered the full force of the storm, and the coffee-growing hub, comprised of 750,000 plants, was almost completely flattened. This left nearly 500 of Tanna’s local farmers and their families without any source of income.

The collective of coffee farmers work with the enterprise Tanna Coffee to produce some of the rarest single-origin blend on the planet. The coffee plants on Tanna grow in volcanic soil, 400 metres above sea level, giving the coffee a unique flavour. Coffee also makes up majority of the profitable agriculture on the island and is the primary source of livelihood for a large portion of the population. It was vital that this industry survive the storm and be rejuvenated.

“In the long term, a sustainable economy in Vanuatu will reduce the nation’s reliance on foreign aid, including the $62.5 million [1]  in aid that the country is estimated to receive from DFAT this financial year”.

— Anthea Smits, Deputy CEO at TDi

When DFAT approached TDi about working in the Pacific to discover what doing good and making money looked like in a developing context, we took up the opportunity and the challenge willingly. Our Pacific team, comprised of Anthea Smits and Anna Moegerlein, have been working with Tanna Coffee over the last year to help regenerate the business, set them up for long-term sustainability and to help them have a greater impact on Vanuatu’s local economy. We also helped to leverage their investment.

 

The majority of the investment will be utilised to rehabilitate the crops that were damaged by Cyclone Pam, and redeveloping 200 hectares of land. This will help to increase Tanna Coffee’s annual production from 100 tonne to 250 tonne and the land will be equally distributed among 200 local farmers. Ultimately, when you consider the income that will be directed back into the community, this investment will help to improve the lives of more than 5,000 people, 16% of Tanna’s population.

"We have trained and empowered all the farmers to become self-sufficient individuals and we now pay them up to 270vatu (AUD 3.20) per kg for their sun-dried coffee parchment (up from AUD 25c), providing an enormous back-flow direct into the community”

- Terry Adlington, Managing Director at Tanna Coffee

Managing Director Terry Adlington adds, “We have worked with TDi on an overall plan for sustainable growth to increase coffee production… and anticipate farmers’ incomes to increase by 20% as a result of the investment, which will increase peoples’ livelihoods and improve their ability to afford consistent education for their children.”
We are immensely proud of the growth and development that the team at Tanna Coffee has achieved over the past year. It is incredible to see local farmers being empowered through industry and sustainable business. We are so excited by this model of business and its capacity to both do good and make money for communities in developing regions.

“This is groundbreaking for the Pacific Islands, and has the potential to help Tanna Island achieve long-term trade independence and a sustainable economy".

— Caleb Jarvis, Australian Trade Commissioner for the Pacific

Tanna Coffee is currently stocked in most of Vanuatu’s premium resorts, restaurants and cafés, along with Air Vanuatu and Au Bon Marche Supermarkets, as well as providing strong regional sales to Fiji, Samoa, Australia and New Zealand.


Movers, Shakers & Changemakers: April

So it’s that time again; time for April’s Movers, Shakers and Changemakers- we’re highlighting our favourite enterprises in the social and environmental sector. These are businesses that are doing good in their communities.

Over the past month we’ve had a couple of events that brought these enterprises to our attention. International Women’s Day saw us discover the beautiful her words, we saw Biofilta speak at the LAUNCHFood forum in San Francisco last week and we met YWCA Victoria when they pitched to the Macquarie Bank Kickstarter Panel that we sat on.

Read on to hear the stories of these amazing ventures doing great things in the space.

YWCA Victoria

YWCA Victoria has been supporting women and girls in Victoria since 1882. Part of the global YWCA, which engages with 25 million women and girls worldwide, the not-for-profit works to mentor, empower and engage women in their communities.

The organisation are also of course staunch advocates for women’s rights across Victoria and are powerful voices in the equality struggle and debate.

YWCA provide housing opportunities for women at risk of homelessness, victims of domestic violence, those who face discrimination or have a disability. They also run mentoring programs, self-esteem workshops and one-on-one advisory sessions.

“I joined the YWCA because I was interested in learning more about how women are trying to achieve gender equality and female empowerment in Australia. The YWCA is a great platform for females or anyone of any gender to voice their opinions and get the opportunity to create positive change in their community".

- Ibtisam Shahbaz, YWCA Victoria Member

YWCA Victoria are now in the process of starting a Women in Trades enterprise. They’re determined to get more women into trades, and create a platform for people to source female tradies. This is particularly important for women who are survivors of domestic violence or elderly women living alone who may not feel comfortable with a male tradie in their home. We love this initiative, find out more about it here.

her words

her words was born from the fact that women make up 51% of Australia’s population, and yet we are seriously underrepresented in the media, meaning that crucial stories from our perspective are not being told. her story is a media platform where women discuss, in video interviews, different topics and share their stories.

The platform’s mantra is ‘courage through connection, change through conversation’ and their mission is to ensure every woman knows their words matter. It was only fitting that this platform launched on International Women’s Day!

"We want to provide a space for women from all backgrounds to safely talk about their experiences, so that they feel connected, powerful and significant.”

— Domini Marshall, her words Founder

The latest series from her words looks at Self-Love and how women can best practise the act. The series speaks to Melbourne artist Francis Cannon, filmmaker Brigid Canny, performance poet and actress Tariro Movondo and disability advocate Michelle Roger.

Watch the beautiful series here.

Biofilta

We discovered Biolfita at the LAUNCHFood Forum in San Francisco last week. They’re seeking to solve the urban food issue through innovative design and products that catch usable stormwater and make urban farming more efficient.

Their ‘Foodwall’ is a modular, low-maintenance, food planter and allows for easy growing, cultivating are harvesting of food in urban environments. This initiative helps to reduce food miles, improve the quality of food and engage communities with the food growing process.

Discover more about them here.

"Urban Food Production is a key part of our future sustainability, social connection and food security"

— Biofilta


Able Bakehouse

In 2016 TDi began bespoke consultancy work with a Melbourne bakehouse with a difference, Able Bakehouse. Run by Melba Support Services, a service provider that helps Lilydale locals with disabilities, Able Bakehouse has turned into the organisation’s social enterprise venture. The Bakehouse was started to provide meaningful work and community engagement for people with complex disabilities.
After Able Bakehouse received a grant from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, TDi was asked to help the Bakehouse to become commercially and financially sustainable, so that their social mission could become a long-term reality.
We spoke to David Glazebrook, who runs the Able Bakehouse about what the enterprise is looking to achieve in its local area and how they’re going to get there.

"TDi made us think, question, and consider a wide range of options and opportunities".

- David Glazebrook, Manager at Able Bakehouse

Why did you start the Able Bake House?
We started Able Bakehouse to provide meaningful work and community engagement for people with complex disabilities. While others thought they were unemployable, we didn’t and have proved that these wonderful people can contribute to their community 
What impact do you wish to have in your community through the Bake House?
We want to provide even more work and opportunities for people with disabilities. We have an outstanding and delicious product, well several actually, so if more people buy from us, more people are engaged, and more people see people living great lives and contributing.
What motivates you? 
What motivates me and the team at Melba is having people actively engaged in their community and the community embracing everyone, all skill levels and abilities.

How do you hope the Bake House will grow in 2017?
We want to establish our social enterprise hub at the Box Hill Institute campus so we can engage more people make more delicious quality biscuits, slice and jams and increase the numbers of people we sell to.
Why did you engage with TDi?
We received a grant from the Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation to assist with our work. In developing the grant we worked with TDi and the assistance and processes they ran with us it enabled us to see more clearly what we could do, how we could expand and stay true to our vision and mission. TDi made us think, question, and consider a wide range of options and opportunities.
What elements of your business has TDi worked on with you?
TDi has worked on all areas of business development and has provided the tools to allow us develop and plan more effectively.

What challenges do you face? Has TDi helped you to prepare for these obstacles?
Knowing our customers and why they buy from us, developing the social enterprise hub and a realistic growth and business plan. TDi has been ‘gold’!
What did you gain from working with TDi?
Knowledge, simple but comprehensive processes and systems, realistic ways forward, and throughout TDi has remained true to our vision and the people we support. They understand what we want to do, what is important and ensure that is maintained.
What would you say to a small business considering working with TDi?
Use them, you’d be silly not to! You’ll be better off because you did!

More Bespoke Consultancy Case Studies


A Two Feet Retrospective: m-Time

In the lead up to Two Feet 2017, we want to look back on some of the incredible work our alumni are doing.


This week, we look to m-Time, an enterprise run by Dr Yan Ting Choong and Sarah Agboola out of Melbourne. Yan came up with the idea for m-Time after reflecting on a custom in Chinese culture. After a woman gives birth, a nanny is sent to her home to support the new mother emotionally and physically through the child’s first month. This gives the new mother the space and time to recover from birth and to focus on bonding with her child.

Sarah came on board when she realised her social engineering and digital community skills could help to create a shift in the mindset of new parents toward normalising accepting help.

Through further research, Yan and Sarah discovered that new mothers with adequate support form better bonds with their babies and have higher sense of self-worth. When mothers take regular time for self-care, they are likely to be happier. Yan reasoned that if having dedicated time for self-care helped new mothers in other countries, it should also be a norm in western cultures.

Last year, the duo were part of our Melbourne Two Feet cohort. We chatted to them about how m-Time is going and what’s coming up for the enterprise this year.


"It shouldn’t be considered taboo to admit that it’s hard or that sometimes you need help. Instead, we’d like to see a new narrative about the importance of parents taking care of themselves physically and mentally".

- Sarah Agboola (L) and Dr Tan Ting Choong (R), co-Founders of m-Time

Hi Sarah and Yan! Why did you start m-Time?

m-Time came to life through a desire to support transitions into parenthood. After a series of interviews and product testing with parents of all backgrounds, we quickly determined that working parents of both genders desired more time to bond with their children, and have more time for self-care.This insight shaped m-Time as it stands today and led to the development of our signature Mumcierges, all-in-one personal assistants for parents.

Where was m-Time in its growth before taking part in Two Feet?

When we started Two Feet we had done one round of testing based on our original model (baby shower gift packages). Through the workshops on Theory of Change at Two Feet, we were able to understand what type of complementary activities and services we needed to offer in order to help parents on a long term basis rather than as one off “treats”.

Why did you decide to take part in Two Feet?

We were blown away by the mentors. We had originally come to TDi to get some general advice on social enterprise but after only a 30 minute conversation, we walked out feeling energised about how big m-Time could be, and how much we could help change cultural attitudes about parenting.

What did you learn, and how are you applying those skills or lessons to your business today?
The biggest takeaways for us were the learnings on the theory of change and social impact measurement. These tools have helped us keep our social values in check while we work toward creating a commercially viable business.

What would you say to a start-up considering Two Feet?

Take the workshops seriously and make actionable plans for how you’ll use the tools you’ve been provided. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information being thrown at you but if you take the time to write what actions you want to take after each workshop, it’ll be easier to keep track.

What do you hope to achieve with m-Time in 2017?

By the end of 2017 we hope to be providing Mumcierge services to parents all over Melbourne and be preparing for an expansion to Sydney and Brisbane.