Enterprise name MADCOW

What’s the trading activity MADCOW provides a range of services that provide ongoing support to those that are most vulnerable in Bendigo. Our social enterprise arm provides cleaning, gardening and community support services to the NDIS, Aged Care, commercial and domestic clients in the Bendigo region It also provides employment and training opportunities for Karen refugees. Profits from our social enterprise provide a range of services to those sleeping rough or at risk of becoming homeless.

What’s the social or environmental cause your enterprise addresses? MADCOW stands for Make A Difference, Change our World and exists to break the cycle of generational injustice. To help prevent family breakdown and homelessness. We are a self-funded social enterprise and registered charity. Our profits support our homeless services in the heart of Bendigo.



Enterprise name: Lively

What’s the trading activity? 

We train and employ young jobseekers aged 18-25 to offer a range of social and practical support services for older community members. These services include home care, technology help, gardening and most recently a range of remote supports through the COVID-19 outbreak.

How are you going with the work?

Obviously, 2020 has been a tough year! We work with two beneficiary groups that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak; young people (who have lost employment in key industries such as retail and hospitality), and older people (who are at high risk from the virus and have been especially isolated). In this context, we’ve had to pivot our strategy towards the delivery of a range of remote supports during this time, and some of our other plans have been pushed back, but what’s been really pleasing is that we’ve actually been able to expand our overall reach and impact during this time. We’re really excited about exploring how we can sustain some of the relationships and connections forged during this time to accelerate our growth and impact as we move out of lockdown!

What is your hope for the future?

We know that Australia’s population is ageing, and that the aged care workforce isn’t growing fast enough to keep up with demand. We also know that a large proportion of the jobs that young people currently rely on for entry level experience are at high risk of automation and change in the coming decades. In this context, our hope and goal is to build a community where supporting older people to live well and stay connected has become a mainstream employment opportunity for young people – just as retail and hospitality are today. In this vision:

– Young people will have access to meaningful and rewarding employment;
– Older people will have access to the support they need to keep enjoying life; and
– Older people will have the space to share their experience and wisdom back with the young – supporting young people’s development and fostering a renewed sense of value for our older community members.

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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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