Two Feet 2017/18 – where are they now?

Over the years we’ve seen first-hand how hard it can be to build sustainable organisations that create positive change in the world. We’ve built an accelerator program specifically for social entrepreneurs to give them the tools and confidence they need to build and run sustainable social enterprises and mission-led businesses. Since 2013, over 250 people have taken part in our Two Feet accelerator program and we’ve seen the incredible progress of many of those businesses.  To share their inspiration, here are just some of the successful social enterprises we’ve worked with over the last few years:

Big Little Brush:

How they make money: Selling sustainable, bamboo toothbrushes at the moment, within the intention to increase their range. In their own words, Big Little Brush sell little things to create big impact. 

How they do good: Their impact is two-fold.  Firstly, the bamboo toothbrushes are creating awareness of and reduction in the waste of traditional plastic toothbrushes.  Secondly, profits from Big Little Brush support organisations like Red Dust who provide health programs to remote communities in regional Australia.  

Big Little Brush was borne from the Co-Founder’s experience with a busted wisdom tooth, and the belief that everyone should have access to primary health care as a fundamental human right.

As we heard from BLB last newsletter, since finishing the Two Feet program, Co-Founder Joel Hanna has used the Business Model Canvas to clearly articulate their growth strategy. 

https://biglittlebrush.org/

WIRE:

How they make money: WIRE provides a range of training, speakers, programs and other support to organisations, enabling them to better address issues that affect women and non-binary clients and employees. In particular, WIRE’s training and education focuses on family violence, financial capability, gender equity, and resilience and self-care.

How they do good: WIRE also offers programs for women, non-binary and gender-diverse people direct to the public at no cost, including a phone support line, walk-in centre and activities program for those experiencing homelessness and isolation. Through its feminist framework, WIRE is realising its vision: a society where women are safe, respected, valued, informed, empowered, and free to make genuine choices.

WIRE has delivered training to organisations across sectors including community organisations, banks and government departments and is looking forward to expanding its training social enterprise following the Two Feet program.

https://www.wire.org.au/

Farmwall:

How they make money: They design and implement technology enhanced, food producing solutions in urban spaces. They build indoor vertical veggie/herb gardens (or Farmwalls) for hospitality, workplaces, and schools.

How they do good: Farmwall’s mission is to transform our cities and built environments into food producing ecosystems to better our social and environmental outcomes. Farmwall products reduce food miles, food waste, the need for pesticides, all with minimal water and energy costs.

As founder, Geert Hendrix puts it—Farmwall began out of the belief that it’s possible to combine design, food production and technology to create future food solutions that fit with our existing ecosystem.

The Two Feet Incubator program helped Farmwall shape their ‘why’ and articulate their vision. It was a vital stepping stone in formulating the path for this rapidly growing startup.

https://farmwall.com.au/

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...

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,...