Give a gift this Mother’s Day to support some of Victoria’s most inspiring social enterprises: here’s a range of edible, wearable, readable and enjoyable goodies for that special mother figure in your life.
Mildura Chocolate Company
Creating heavenly treats is all in a day’s work at the Mildura Chocolate Company, as The Victorian Connection recently found out. A not-for-profit branch of the Christie Centre, the company gives people with disabilities the opportunity to train in an occupation and is backed by partnerships with Yarra Valley gourmet chocolate company Kennedy & Wilson and Murray River Salt.
Visit: Mildura Chocolate Company
A growing not-for-profit, SisterWorks helps female migrants, asylum seekers and refugees become financially independent and happily settled in Australia. The social enterprise currently supports 171 women from 55 countries, including 88 ‘Entrepreneurs’ – who create and sell their wares from the SisterWorks base in Richmond– with the remaining sisters giving support behind-the-scenes.
In the Click
Need a handmade Aussie candle? Click. How about a bamboo oil burner? Click. Or even a new diary? Click. In the Click has made the online shopping experience even more worthwhile by developing a system that helps break the cycle of hardship and poverty.
The social enterprise sells goods online, where 100 per cent of the proceeds go back to the enterprise to provide real work and training opportunities for people of all abilities and diverse learning needs.
Visit: In the Click
The Conscious Closet
Offering quality recycled clothing, the Conscious Closet is the retail arm of Fitted for Work, the first Australian organisation of its kind dedicated to helping women experiencing disadvantage get into work and keep it. Located at 210 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, all proceeds support Fitted for Work programs and services.
Visit: The Conscious Closet
HoMie is a wholly ethical and sustainable Australian-made brand with a flagship store in Fitzroy. It’s also Australia’s first retail clothing store to provide brand-new clothing and retail training to young people experiencing homelessness. Twice a year, three interns participate in a six-month program which includes part time, paid on-the-job experience and accredited training in Certificate III in Retail Operations.
Hey Tiger chocolate
Handmade in Melbourne, Hey Tiger chocolate tastes delicious, looks amazing and is creating a positive impact in West Africa. The boutique business is a partner of The Hunger Project, helping to fund their women-led community development programs in the cocoa farming belt of Ghana.
Visit: Hey Tiger chocolate
Looking for some catering options?
A catering team comprising asylum seeker members led by an experienced team of mentor chefs.
Visit: ASRC Catering
Started 10 years ago by refugees from the Horn of Africa, Sorghum Sisters is a catering social enterprise specialising in African cuisine.
Visit: Sorghum Sisters
Charcoal Lane (Fitzroy)
Charcoal Lane is a social enterprise restaurant and catering business providing guidance and opportunity to young people, many of whom are Aboriginal, and in need of a fresh start in life.
Visit: Charcoal Lane
STREAT coffee (several places)
Ethical coffee initiative helping fund and provide training for young disadvantaged people.
Visit: STREAT coffee
Rubber Cuppy keep cup
Reuseable coffee cup using sustainable glass and upcycled bicycle tubes.
Visit: Rubber Cuppy
A social enterprise using bikes as a tool to educate, empower and find employment for disadvantaged youth.
Visit: Good cycles
Victoria is home to a quarter of Australia’s social enterprises, with more than 3500 across the state. Check out the social enterprises near you at the Map for Impact website.
Top featured image credit: STREAT cafe