Social enterprise has designs for future growth

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Assembled Threads is an employment-focused social enterprise that has been given a new perspective on business strategy and growth.

A lifelong product developer in the garment production industry, Edwina Walsh opened her social enterprise Assembled Threads in 2021 after seeing the working conditions in overseas factories and wondering what had happened to the local manufacturing industry in Australia.

She established the business with the aim of supporting local manufacturing and local employment, sourcing materials from Australian fabric mills and employing mostly women from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

‘We have this really great artisan talent coming in from our migrant refugee populations and I felt I could match that with product development and get the team up to speed really quickly,’ says Edwina.

Edwina says participating in the Ready for Growth program has given her the space and capability to think strategically about the business and plan for the future.

‘When you’re running a business yourself, you are so deep into it and you’re doing 5 jobs – one person – you don’t actually take enough time out to solve the bigger strategic questions.’

Since 2021 this young business has already progressed in leaps and bounds, offering permanent employment to a predominantly female workforce and opening a manufacturing hub in North Melbourne. Ready for Growth supported Edwina to plan and track a clear pathway for her business growth.

‘I think the program has really helped me to focus on where we want to go in the future and to really focus on building our productivity in key areas.’

Ready for Growth supports businesses with high-growth potential to access new markets and expand their business.

Find out more and apply today: Ready for Growth.