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 Spare Harvest, an enterprise run by Helen Andrew out of Queensland. When Helen and her family moved to the Sunshine Coast, they moved to a property that had many established fruit trees. As the fruit came into season, the trees produced more than Helen could consume and share with her family and friends. She finished the season by burying what she couldn’t share into the ground.
With global food wastage at an all time high, throwing away this produce made Helen uncomfortable, but it inspired her to start Spare Harvest. The online marketplace allows people to post their excess produce that can be bought, swapped or simply shared. We love the enterprise’s roots (pun intended), philosophy and mission.
Last year, Helen took part in our Two Feet program in Brisbane. We spoke to her about her experience with the program and how Spare Harvest has grown.
“Burying that fresh food left me with an uneasy feeling and motivated me to find a way to share what I had spare with people in my community that I didn’t know and who didn’t have access to their own produce”
— Helen Andrew, Spare Harvest founder
Hi Helen! Tell us, what impact do you want to have in the community with Spare Harvest?
Spare Harvest impacts the community in two ways. It creates stronger community engagement by facilitating new connections; members of Spare Harvest are meeting new like-minded people in their local community. We also are having a positive impact on the environment. Through these new connections, we are reducing our waste, our carbon footprint, consumption and diverting valuable resources away from landfill.
Where was Spare Harvest at in its growth before you took part in Two Feet?
Spare Harvest was right at the beginning of its journey. The sharing platform had only been live for a couple of months prior to starting the Two Feet program.
Why did you decide to take part in Two Feet?
I made the decision to take part in the program to gain valuable skills that would support the growth of Spare Harvest. I only finished high school and the program was my undergraduate and post graduate education.
“What the Two Feet Program provides that other programs don’t is that they help you better understand your ‘why’ – your intent”.
– Helen, Spare Harvest
What did you learn, and how are you applying those skills or lessons to your business today?
The program provided me a clear overview of what was needed to work on and grow my business. Although I had previously developed skills in certain areas, there were gaps that Two Feet filled in. At the conclusion of the program I had a better understanding of what my business was and what I needed to do to move forward. I also had an amazing opportunity to meet other like-minded people that have supported the growth of Spare Harvest.
What would you say to a start-up considering Two Feet?
No matter how much you know, there is always something to learn. What the Two Feet Program provides that other programs don’t is that they help you better understand your ‘why’ – your intent. Your why then provides the foundation for everything else you do. Your why is why your business will succeed!
What do you hope to achieve with Spare Harvest in 2017?
The focus for Spare Harvest in 2017 is to grow into a thriving community that is connecting and sharing. 2016 was about understanding the business and establishing it’s foundations. To help Spare Harvest grow, 2017 will be spent communicating our why to our target markets and getting the word out that Spare Harvest is a valuable tool in the fight to reduce waste.
Check out the Spare Harvest marketplace here & find some local produce!