Have you ever thought to yourself, imagine if the huge money making companies out there had a profit for purpose business model? Imagine how that could change the world? Imagine all the good it could do?
Last week I met with Emma Goodwin, Business Manager at Shopwisely and Mandy Glassey, Operations Manager at the Wise Foundation to learn more about the foundation and it's initiatives, such a Shopwisely. The Wise Foundation aim provide disadvantaged communities the opportunity to achieve economic independence through business.
Most recently they have done some great work to help people seeking asylum. Partnering with Australia's leading telecommunications provider Telstra, they have started an initiative to further develop asylum seekers skills to empower their future. This skills training and employment venture started in December 2015, offering members of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre barista training. Yes, probably the best skill to have here in our coffee cultured Melbourne.
Other initiatives currently being funded and supported through the Wise Foundation are:
Mulgrave Famers Market - Open every Sunday in the grounds of The Body Shop HQ. You can buy direct and fresh from the people who grow your food.
Buffed - The core business revolves around permanent franchise locations. These Buffed franchises provide opportunities for refugees, asylum seekers and marginalised Australians to run their own shoe shinning business.
The Gardens Club - The Wise Foundation restored the Curators Cottage to deliver a beautiful addition to the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens, The Gardens Club. The main building has been converted into a unique venue to hold social events, weddings & private events.
Best of all, 100% of profits are redistributed back into the community.
Last buy certainly not least...
In 2013, the Wise Foundation realised there was an opportunity in retail where they could make a difference, Shopwisely was born. They recognised that there were aspirational brands out there helping various communities, but their efforts were not always well known. Shopwisely set out to bring these brands and their products together in one retail space, where consumers can be informed and make a positive difference.
Image: Shopwisely, Hawthorn.
Shopwisely source brands from around the globe based on the good they do. Whether it is providing shoes and meals to children in need, or creating employment for those who are excluded from the workforce due to lack of opportunity. Shopwisely started with just one brand, TOMs, at a pop up in the heart of Melbourne's CBD. It has since grown to stock a huge 28 brands and they continue to add more each week.
It is important for Shopwisely to know where their products come from and the impact they are having on the community and the environment. Finding on-trend and aspirational brands is their passion and they love telling their stories.
Shopwisely provide gifts that keep on giving.