Inspiration

Here’s how we can support our ‘global sisters’

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I firmly believe that businesses, big and small, have the power to create significant social change globally. As businesswomen, it is in our everyday actions that we can support each other and create a ripple effect. These ripples can be powerful and bring enough change to see our communities, economy and country impacted greatly.

It’s this belief that has played a part in my motivation to found Global Sisters, a not-for-profit that exists to provide a genuine alternative for women who aren’t able to participate in mainstream employment.

With support from foundations of significant businesses such as Citi and Myer, we’ve been able to build an exceptional team and launch a cutting edge business education and coaching program, Australia’s first gender specific enterprise microloans offering and an exciting retail channel program.

Many of our sisters are new to our country – refugees or asylum seekers, women whose previous lives and livelihood are unable to be continued in Australia.

Global Sisters works by partnering a Sister with one or more business coachesand support in all areas as needed through the various programs. There is an undeniable power in women supporting women. Stories are shared, barriers disappear, understanding increases and opportunities flow with new friendships. This connection, our community, our #SisterTribe, is a vital key to our Sisters changing their story and achieving financial independence.

Whether it’s traditional weaving and dying, jewellery making, organic miso or massage, we are seeing many women start to realise their potential with their own business and become financially independent. They are growing not only as businesswomen, but as role models and community leaders.

Business has the power to create significant social change – through providing support and as an income generator. With every Sister who is positively impacted, a ripple effect occurs. With support from the #SisterTribe, each woman is given the tools and resources to stand tall with confidence, dignity and respect which impacts her family and her wider community.

We have watched the ripple effect starting to happen – mothers proud to be role models for their children, and daughters inspiring their mothers. We have seen Sisters becoming community leaders, even inspiring others on the far side of the globe. Day-by-day I have the privilege of seeing our Sisters changing their own stories and that of those around them. They inspire me endlessly and they inspire everyone who is lucky enough to hear their stories. As one Global Sister so proudly said: “now the business is part of who I am, I’m no longer the mother of five who makes a few things at home”.

I’d like to invite women involved in business in any way, large or small, to think about what ripples they can make by providing expertise, time, skills, resources, their purchasing decisions, even raising awareness on their social media – everyone has the power to create not just ripples, but waves if they choose.

There is no greater impact than a woman with confidence, dignity and respect in a community and we’re proud to be impacting some of the most diverse, colourful and exciting communities this country is lucky to have.

About Mandy Richards

Mandy Richards is CEO of Global Sisters, an organisation that exists to enable women to be financially independent and stand tall. We provide a genuine alternative for women who aren’t able to participate in mainstream employment. By removing the barriers they commonly face, we make self-employment a viable option. We provide women with the tools, networks and resources to establish or grow a business. https://globalsisters.org/ Mandy is a social entrepreneur who is fiercely passionate about human rights, eradicating poverty and empowering women, which led her to establishing Global Sisters in 2014. Mandy’ s diverse career path over the past 20 years has spanned the commercial and not-for- profit sectors where she has worked internationally on government business incubation programs in Botswana, New Zealand as well as high profile charities including the Hamlin Fistula Hospitals in Ethiopia and locally as National Marketing Manager for the RSPCA. More recently, Mandy has worked with Social Ventures Australia, establishing the ACT Social Enterprise Hub and as the Director for Place Based Philanthropy with the Sydney Community Foundation. She is currently completing a Masters in Human Rights Law.

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