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.

 

YMCA 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

It takes a village to grow an inclusive sustainable business

TDi has been committed to inclusive sustainable businesses since the early days of the social enterprise movement in Australia.

Two Feet Accelerator: Where are they now? YEVU

This week we’ve been chatting with Anna Robertson from YEVU – a social enterprise clothing brand designed and manufactured in Ghana.

YuMi Tourism Partners (Alotau) – Milne Bay Organics

“Coconut has been incredibly embedded in the Milne Bay tradition – from the food consumption through to the traditional dancing.” Last year, the YuMi pilot program took us to Alotau in Papua New Guinea, where we worked with difference maker, Rhona.

Indigenous tourism is key to economic recovery

Long-time friend, and associate of TDi, Ash Bartley has just started a new role with Visit Victoria.  We caught up with her recently to celebrate her new role and ask about the opportunity for Indigenous tourism in Australia’s economic recovery.

YuMi Tourism Partners (Alotau) – VilLink Tours & Expeditions PNG

“With what I’m doing, I want to encourage the other young women out there, that they can also have the chance to make a difference.  Not only in earning money, but sharing what they know, and getting other communities involved.”

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...