Introducing 2017’s Melbourne Two Feeters!

This week marks the launch of Two Feet 2017, with our first sessions taking place in Melbourne on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then next week we will meet our Brisbane and Sydney cohorts. We’re really excited by the range of businesses taking part in Two Feet this year and the potential for impact that each of the enterprises have. Read on to meet them!

Melbourne Cohort 1

Urbanlife Community have been in operation for a decade. They act as a community hub and centre where any person can go for support, conversations or resources.

விருந்து Tamil Feasts are an enterprise supporting recently settled Tamil asylum seekers through food, culture and celebration. Their thrice weekly hosted dinners at CERES are prepared and served by those seeking asylum; members of the public who attend learn about Tamil heritage, the refugee experience, can offer their support and help create community.

Farmwall want to transform our cities into ecosystems that are healthy and can grow food. They do this through the construction of their vertical, edible gardens (the farmwall) that are built for local cafes and restaurants, so that chefs have access to fresh produce and food can go from farm-to-plate instantly. They are also looking to build small scale aquaponic farms in urban areas.

Farmer Incubator are helping grow the next generation of farmers. They’re addressing the combined issue of an ageing farming population and a young generation who want to break into agriculture but don’t know how, or don’t have the means. They do this by running programs that help young people to crack into agriculture in a low-risk way.

Two Square Pegs help small businesses and startups to build their team. They do this by connecting them with a community of skilled professionals who want to work for conscious small businesses. They promote collaborative, flexible work arrangements.

The Centre for Mindful Living are yet to launch but are looking to open a mindfulness centre in their community of Ballarat. The centre will be a hub for local allied medical professionals to come together and help the community using mindfulness. They also want to run workshops and group therapy sessions.

Speakers Bank are the brain child of Annecto, an organisation that supports people and communities to connect, to realise economic, social and cultural participation. Speakers Bank is their platform of professional speakers who experience disability or old age, their aim is to inspire people with their talks while also providing work and meaning to the lives of the speakers.

Melbourne Cohort 2

Commune & Co are pitching their business soon! Stay tuned for more info.

Social Impact Legal work with for-purpose businesses to help them get their legal and governance structures right, so that they are set up to succeed and can have greater impact.

Tilt Magazine is a free, quarterly publication, focused on supercharging the better business movement. Their magazine can be accessed by desktop, mobile and tablet devices and provides inspiring stories about change makers in Australia. They exist to provide greater marketing and media support for social entrepreneurs, to help them scale their impact.

Kakadu Plum Co. are bringing a new flavour to our plates. The Kakadu Plum is said to have medicinal qualities, and Kakadu Plum Co. are bringing this to our cities, while educating us about the abundance of foods we have growing in the Australian bush. The team behind Kakadu Plum Co. are working on a new venture, so stay tuned!

The Australian Red Cross are working on taking the international volunteer training that they currently run, and connecting that up with real aid work and international volunteer opportunities that do not harm but build and leverage local community capability.

Fish Community Solutions help small charities to become sustainable through education, coaching, strategy and support, so that they can do better business. Fish Community Solutions like to say that they help their clients improve their worlds, so that they can in turn improve ours.

Melbourne Farmers Market bring fresh produce directly from those who grow it, to communities around Melbourne. Their weekly or monthly markets markets around Melbourne aim to promote biodiversity, sustainable farming practises and strengthen the relationship between farmer and consumer.

Flexible and responsive coaching is key to sustaining women’s economic empowerment during a crisis

While each business owner faces their own set of challenges in response to the uncertainty and upheaval of COVID-19, we are observing a series of consistent coaching requirements emerge.

When life gives you lemons… pivot your business model

Nemika Brunton is based in Alotau, Papua New Guinea.  We met her during the YuMi Tourism Partners Pilot program.  The program addressed starting small, testing and learning, and how to adapt and respond to market needs.  These lessons have certainly helped Nemika shift her business focus in response to COVID-19. Tourism is a key industry for the town and many of the local businesses were tourism based.  So, the impact of COVID-19 hit the town hard.  Many locals – including Nemika – have adapted quickly to totally new businesses and customers.

Supporting Social Enterprise during COVID-19

Following a tumultuous year of bushfires, COVID-19 and recent floods in Southern NSW, lots of small businesses and the families and communities they serve, are doing it tough.  One way we’ve seen people showing their support for these local businesses is through the #shoplocal #shopvictoria and #buyfromthebush movements.  We’ve been inspired by this and wanted to share a #shopsocialenterprise guide based on some of the businesses we’ve been working with over the last 18 months.

Resilience, at what cost?

Over the past six months we as a team have navigated our own business and helped hundreds of others to do the same. We went from having a clear business model and ready to write our best year ever to having nothing as certain and many parts of our own business model under threat.

Finding motivation to continue business during COVID-19

As the current economic climate evolves with COVID-19, we have been sharing some perspective from both our own work and the continual conversations and support we’re offering others. Initially, we shared a metaphor about what this first felt like – like our house was...

Pivoting during COVID: responses from Fiji

Recently, we caught up with Deb Sadranu at Essence of Fiji to see how things are going for her, her business, and Fiji in the face of COVID-19.  Tourism is a key industry for Fiji, and Essence of Fiji usually serves the tourists. As a result of COVID-19, Deb’s whole business model has pivoted from predominantly local, in-store sales, to predominantly international, online sales.

A letter to my daughter about Black Lives Matter and racial inequality

Dear Willow,  I’m writing to you because I want to share some rumblings in my gut that have troubled me.  You are at an age now, where it is time for you to step into a conversation that for us as Australians is long overdue. I have tried to teach you about love,...

Why mindset matters to women’s entrepreneurship and why we should invest in it, especially now

At The Difference Incubator (TDi) we’ve been supporting social entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses for over a decade. In 2019 we partnered with PNG Women’s Business Resource Centre and Kate Wilson from Kamaji Tree Consulting and Coaching, with the support...

Customer Empathy Interviewing

When was the last time you asked your customers what they thought? We use Customer Empathy Interviews to help businesses deeply understand their customers and design competitive products and services. It’s also been one of our top coaching tips for business owners...

Pivoting your business model during a crisis

A conversation with Geert from FarmWallGeert Hendrix founded FarmWall in 2016. Farmwall is an agrifood-tech startup that designs urban farming technology and experiences to enhance fresh produce accessibility in the city. In our constantly developing world, the need...