Brilliant ideas for social innovation don’t always come at a time in life when you have the cash, time and resources to pursue them. It can be even more challenging to get a startup off the ground if English isn’t your first language, you’re a single parent or you have a disability. For women especially, one or more of these circumstances can insurmountable. Thanks to support from Global Sisters, a number of women in Logan facing these challenges are embarking on their startup journey, many with a socially conscious foundation.
Through its Beenleigh program, Global Sisters has been helping local women conceptualise, set up, start up and grow a new business over the past 18 months. The initiative is breaking down barriers for Logan women and supporting them to establish and grow a sustainable business that not only helps them find financial independence, but also creates a ripple effect of positive change for their family and community.
Founded in Sydney, the Global Sisters initiative connects with local women through community partners including ParentsNext Accoras (Beenleigh) and The Center For Women Co.
For many of these women, the journey started at a My Big Idea workshop. These are intensive sessions where women can identify and nurture their existing skillsets, interests and qualifications, and uncover their bigger dreams. The workshops are then followed by a nine-module business education course called Sister School.
In the last 12 months, Global Sisters has delivered four My Big Idea workshops in Logan, including three in Beenleigh, supporting 64 women to create a viable business idea. Two Sister Schools have also been delivered locally (plus an online Sister School for other local participants), with 57 women participating.
An emerging priority is the role of enabling business-to-business social procurement for these businesses. A great local example of this is Jams for a Cause, a Beenleigh success story. Global Sisters’ Accelerator Lead connected Jams for a Cause founder, Jessica, to an encouraging social enterprise café in Brisbane, which is now in the process of buying her jam in bulk. Next on the agenda is to get Jessica’s jam into social enterprise cafés in Logan.
The current cohort of Sisters in Beenleigh is currently incubating and over the coming months will move into the accelerate phase, which will see access to more support in marketing and sales, technology, microfinance and specialised coaching.
Global Sisters will continue to walk alongside these women as they move forward and become financially independent through business, and will welcome a new cohort of Sisters in Beenleigh in early 2019.
Global Sisters is always on the lookout for coaches and mentors to support its local programs, so reach out to them if you can help!
The Beenleigh Global Sisters program has been funded by private and corporate philanthropic foundations including AMP Foundation, Citi Foundation and Thyne Reid Foundation.
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