Food Next Door

Enterprise name  Food Next Door Co-op

What’s the trading activity 

We operate Out of the Box, a weekly local produce box scheme of 100% local produce grown to organic and regenerative practices. Approximately 80 households in Sunraysia currently subscribe to Out of the Box.

What’s the social or environmental cause your enterprise addresses?

Out of the Box supports small-scale farmers; we guarantee a minimum 50% return from each box directly to local farmers. We donate $1 from every box directly to support an intern in our on-farm training program for new migrant farmers. Remaining profits are re-invested in Food Next Door’s Community Demonstration Farm to build community and sustainable local economies through food.

How are you going with the work?

Since COVID-19 restrictions we have seen a 30% increase in weekly sales. We were able to respond quickly by increasing plantings at our community farm and supporting our small-scale farmers to increase plantings on their farms too. So far our supply is keeping up (more or less) with demand and we hope to continue building our customer base.

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Enable Australia

Enable Australia

Enterprise name  Enable Social Enterprises

What’s the trading activity 

Enable is an Award winning not for profit social enterprise engaging in the following trading activities:

  • IT asset decommissioning, data destruction and recycling:
    Data Destruction: We take the utmost care with data wiping, using commercial grade soft­ware, degaussing, physical destruction with data destruction certificates avail­able.
  • Collection/Drop off services: On-site bins/cages, collection services and drop off options available.
  • Re-deploy end of use equipment: Customised solutions to receive, record and report asset data, apply next life decisions and potential to clean and re-deploy assets.
  • Asset Tagging & Serial number Reporting: Using The Enable Service System (TESS), asset labelling and serial number reporting available to assist with asset management.
  • Customised reporting: The Enable Service System (TESS) is robust and can be customised to meet specific customer needs.

Fulfilment and storage services: Outsourced pick, pack and dispatch business requirements has saved our Customers space, time and money whilst creating social, environmental and economic impact.

Online Retailing: online retailing of affordable business technology at
Renew Tech for Good program is up and running, distributing affordable technology to those in need in collaboration with over 20 impact partners and customers.

Tag & testing: Performed by Enable’s qualified staff and includes itemised asset testing reports. RCD testing and lead replacements also available.

Our Customers 

Enable’s has over 130 local and national customers in a broad range of industries including Government, Building and Construction, Engineering, Education and Training, Retail, SMEs and fellow Not for profits and Social Enterprises

What’s the social or environmental cause your enterprise addresses?

Enable’s vision is a socially, environmentally and economically connected community without disadvantage.

The key motivations driving Enable are (i) Employment and Training, (ii) Environmental Justice (Zero Waste approach (repair, reuse, resell) with recycling (dismantling) as the last resort and (iii) re-investment of profits directly back to Enable’s charitable cause, creating a virtuous cycle of social, environmental and economic impact.

Enable’s impact is built on addressing the following issues:
Issue 1: Poor employment participation rates (52%) for people with disability
Issue 2: High unemployment in Hume Local Government Area (55% higher than the Australian average)
Issue 3: E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste types in Australia (providing jobs of the future from this sector)
Issue 4: A local platform for social inclusion and cohesive communities (creating a sense of belonging)
Enable also operate in growing and stable industries such as IT Testing and Repairs, E-Waste disassembly, Online Retailing and Warehousing and Logistics with the intent to improve participants chances of getting a job.

What is the biggest challenge?

The Enable Strategic Plan set out 2020 as a Growth stage of our enterprise cycle.
The Covid-19 pandemic stifled this strategy and to effectively managed key financial, business and program continuity risks, Enable responded by “right sizing” the enterprise from 9 to 3 active work and learning stations and relating commercial activities.

Covid-19 saw a dire need arise for affordable technology to help disadvantaged community to stay connected to family, support workers and teachers of which Enable pivoted immediately to respond to this need, partnering with over 20 community, training and employment services across the State of Victoria to ensure affordable technology gets into the hands of those in need .

Our biggest challenge is working through what our “new normal” enterprise and operating model is going to look like after all the government rescue packages come to a close at the end of the 2020 calendar year.

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The Intime Collective

The Intime Collective

Founder & Director: Louise Gilbert

Enterprise name  The Intime Collective

What is your trading activity? What do you sell, and who are your customers?

We sell something I wish I had when I had my first baby!

We teach parents how to have great relationships with each other. Why? Because when kids come along, it’s really tricky to find time into your own relationship. As a parent, you really need to be the best parenting team possible. There are expectations, arguments about in-laws, money and parenting styles, work-life balance and whose career is more important. There’s a lot to negotiate at a time when you’re pretty tired and even most irritable. There’s a reason beach volleyball is played in pairs, not solo: it’s a whole lot easier keeping the ball in the air.

So we explore things like, at its best, what do your relationships look like? With your partner, your child, a friend, your work mate or boss?

What would happen if you brought five per cent more awareness to your important relationships?

When you teach your child how to ride a bike, for example, there are things you do and things you don’t. You ensure they wear a helmet and you don’t push them down a busy road! Same goes for relationships.

We teach the Dos and the Don’ts of relationships because relationships are everything. They’re key to our wellbeing and living a good life.

Scientific research behind these Dos and Don’ts goes back more than 40 years, and that’s what we
use to help people have great relationships. Just like riding a bike, it’s a learnt skill that takes practice
and fine tuning.

Before COVID-19, we were running face-to-face workshops for large organisations and their working
parents. Now, of course, we run short virtual masterclasses.

How are you going with the work?

With COVID-19, I’ve felt equal amounts of terror and delight. And sometimes both at the same time!
I tell myself that it’s okay to feel both emotions as it’s part of being resilient.

It was definitely an adjustment moving all our former face-to-face work online. I’ve always been energised by seeing our work make a difference for people. Seeing their eyes light up, see their hearts elevate, their shoulders soften. That’s something I don’t get to experience anymore. Eye contact is virtually impossible! Where do I look if I look at the person and not at my webcam, then I’m seeing their eyes, but they’re not seeing my eyes?

We receive really great feedback from organisations describing our work as unique. We’re the only company in Australia proactively teaching people the secret sauce on how to have strong relationships and how this links with career and often having a family.

People who attend our masterclasses and workshops love it and often come back to me sharing stories about how they’ve put things into practice at home with their families.

A parent told me she’d created a bit of a ritual of giving her husband a debrief after each of our masterclasses. They’d playfully poke fun at what she learnt and he started playfully teasing her when she was rolling her eyes (we teach not to do that as it’s a predictor of divorce) and he’d tease her pulling her up if she was using harsh words. Their whole relationship was energised, which was really helpful given her current work-from-home arrangement, and they were both looking after a toddler and supporting ‘home learning’ for their other child.

What is your biggest challenge?

Maternity wards or divorce lawyers? We’ve all heard the jokes about what the COVID-19 situation will mean for couples and families, so there’s a strong need for the work we do.

While our feedback is really positive, we’re a young company with big aspirations for making a big impact. So we of course want to be able to support more people.

We’d love to be connected with more organisations so we can jointly have that impact to support couples and families. There’s a huge benefit for everyone. Who doesn’t want more of that goodness?

What is your hope for the future?

My hope is that we are brave enough to embrace the silver linings COVID-19 has presented us.

Sunshine is the best disinfectant, and I don’t want to waste this crisis. I don’t want to go back to rushing my kids eating their cereal in the morning because it’s go, go, go.

These days, I find myself spontaneously calling family, friends and lost connections more often to just say hi. I want to keep doing that.

It’s all about relationships.

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Mosaik Experiences

Mosaik Experiences

Enterprise name  Mosaik Experiences

What’s the trading activity  Mosaik Experiences is a social enterprise that aims to inspire a sense of community and belonging, by blending the power of arts and culture.

We provide unique, authentic, memorable and participative cultural experiences which include music, dance, art & crafts, language and food, perfect for lifestyle programs and celebrations at aged care facilities, disability and senior groups.

Our workshops, programs and entertainment generate opportunities for enjoyment, welcoming and inclusive environment and, at the same time, creates a connection among the participants.

As a social enterprise, we generate job opportunities for migrants who are part of the team performing and facilitating the experiences. We also support social programs for seniors and people with disabilities at community houses.

Our vision is a happier, more inclusive and more connected society.

What’s the social or environmental cause your enterprise addresses?

We exist to address cultural and social isolation in Australia, particularly with migrants, older adults and people with disabilities.

What’s the social or environmental cause your enterprise addresses?

Sister Works

Sister Works

Enterprise name SisterWorks

What’s the trading activity?

SisterWorks is a not-for-profit social enterprise, based in Melbourne. Through work and entrepreneurship, our mission is to support women who are refugees, asylum seekers or migrants to improve their confidence, mental wellbeing and sense of belonging.

Our Vision: An Australia where all migrant women are given the opportunities to become economically empowered.

We function as an enterprise by selling ethical and sustainable products that are handmade my our migrant, refugee and asylum seeker Sisters in weekly workshops. These workshops develop their professional skills to increase opportunity for employment and education. At least 50% of the profit from each sale goes directly to the Sister that makes it.

We are based in Melbourne, with two stores, one in Richmond and the other in South Yarra.

What is your hope for the future?

We hope to expand our model to reach migrant, refugee and asylum seeker women all across Australia. We want to go to them rather then depending on the women to come to us.

How are you going with the work?

Our model of work has shifted greatly, given the current Covid situation. Our sales are now all online, with our retail stores closing face to face contact.

As our Empowerment hubs and shops have suspended face to face contact, we have shifted online and we are using creativity to move forward. Our highest priority is to keep our Sisters engaged and economically empowered. We decided that if our Sisters cannot come to us, we can go to them using technology and visiting them in their homes. To do this we are embracing our ‘learning by doing’ approach and implementing a proactive, remote activities model.

To maintain engagement with our Sisters in an environment of physical distancing, we have started e-classes and created individual support plans for each Sister. Our regular skill development workshops are still functioning via live, video meetings on a weekly basis. All of the resources, materials and instructions are delivered directly to our Sisters’ homes using the necessary precautions around physical distancing. We want our Sisters to continue to be engaged and each week we aim to involve more and more Sisters.

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Collingwood Toy Library

Collingwood Toy Library

Enterprise name  Collingwood Toy Library

What’s the cause  The Collingwood Toy Library is a not-for-profit community managed organisation that provides a toy lending service to families with young children. We have 27 years’ experience promoting the educational value of play for young children and encouraging positive adult/child interactions through the provision of quality toys, games and equipment. By enabling families to borrow rather than buy, we assist families’ sustainability both financially as well as environmentally.

What’s the trading activity  The Collingwood Toy Library has an extensive range of toys for loan to member families. The stock includes quality toys, games, puzzles, musical instruments, costumes and other play equipment, which is selected to stimulate the development of children, including those with special needs. We currently have over 900 children who use the library.

How are you going with the work?  Over the past 3 years the toy library has grown from 300 member families to over 630 member families, that’s the biggest we have ever been in our 27 year history. We are one of the largest Toy Libraries in Australia and are continuing to grow. We have expanded our collection to include board games and puzzles for families with older kids as well as adults playing without children and we now have a huge selection of 1000 table top games for families of all ages.

Biggest challenge  Our biggest challenge is lack of physical space to store and display over 4300 toys while still providing a space that is welcoming and serves as an informal meeting space for local parents.

Hope for the future   We hope to continue to expand to be able to offer the great range of toys and friendly advice that our members rely on.