4 Powerful Women The Australian Media Won’t Tell You About
When I hear the words “Australia’s Most Powerful Women” my mind goes straight to names like Julie Bishop or Marise Payne. When the media talks about what makes a woman powerful it often boils down to politics & money.
What about the power to change the world? The power to save lives, feed more mouths and influence people to become a humanitarian – even through small actions. This is what the women in the social enterprise business do.
You may not find these women on “Forbes 25 Most Powerful Women” – but with social change, these are the kind of women we could be putting up there.
What Is A Social Enterprise?
A social enterprise is an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximise improvements in human and environmental well-being—this may include maximising social impact alongside profits for external shareholders. – Wikipedia Definition
When embarking on starting a social enterprise the driving force is to achieve positive social, cultural, community economic and/or environmental impact.
The women I am about to introduce to you are attempting to change the world every day. They put their money where their mouth is. They took risks to get to where they are today to build a business they are passionate about. A business that gives back to people in need or creates social change.
Kathy Wong – Moeloco
Kathy Wong is the founder of Moeloco footwear. The Moeloco Flip Flops are both a quality product and a novelty. Moeloco Flip Flops are not the standard, each pair has a positive word on the underneath with you can leave behind in the sand.
Moeloco means “Dream Crazy”
Moeloco’s dream was to provide shoes for children who are underprivileged and live in some of the poorest areas in the world. Having no shoes can impact both health and education.
Would you send your children to school every day with no shoes? Kathy knew she had the power to make a change.
For every pair of Moeloco Flip Flops sold, Moeloco donates one pair of school shoes to some of the world’s most underprivileged children. Kathy Wong’s Dream Crazy idea is now a reality. Moeloco is looking to provide school shoes to 1000 children in India by Christmas.
Roslyn Campbell – Tsuno
Feminine hygiene is a luxury many people take for granted. Women in 3rd world countries either don’t have access to pads & tampons. Girls are forced to improvise, using rags, newspaper, kitchen sponges, leaves and even tree bark.
Tsuno is a feminine hygiene social enterprise that aims to be eco-friendly, organic, biodegradable and sustainable, whilst also helping change the lives of women around the world by providing them with basic sanitary products.
The idea behind Tsuno came after Roslyn discovered the ‘menstrual cup’ in Europe 4 years ago, and decided to research more into feminine hygiene products. Roslyn was shocked to discover how much plastic and other harmful chemicals were used to create every-day tampons and pads.
Tsuno donates 50% of net profits from the sale of their pads to charities helping to empower women in the developing world. Roslyn also decided Tsuno would support charities closer to home, here in Australia. In the last year, more than 10,000 boxes of pads have been donated to charities within Australia who provide much needed sanitary items for women facing difficult times.
Rechelle Coombes – Socielle
Rechelle is the founder of Socielle, a social enterprise dedicated to retailing beautiful products from socially conscious businesses for women. Socielle is different in that it has implemented a unique business model that allows shoppers to directly contribute to a cause they are passionate about.
Rechelle’s mission is to change the way consumers across the globe think about their buying decisions. Socielles “ShopFunding” is similar to that of a loyalty program, For each purchase, the consumer will be given credit which they can then allocate to a charity of their choice.
This is going to seriously change the retail game.
Prior to starting Socielle, Rechelle spent years working in high profile but emotionally unrewarding corporate marketing roles. Rechelle realised she had a passion for Social Enterprise and found a way to run a business and dedicate herself to make change.
With Socielle you can support poverty, homelessness, female refugees, children with disabilities and animal rights and more – all with just one purchase. We all have the power to make socially conscious decisions, but these 4 women have taken it to the next level and built their business around paying it forward globally.
Anne Foster – Elkie & Ark
Anne has created an Australian-based luxury, bed linen and homewares company with a difference. Elkie & Ark is both sustainable and ethical, defying the need for constant trend following, overconsumption and waste. This is a huge problem in developed countries, especially during gifting season.
Elkie & Ark is founded on doing business a whole lot better. The products that are ethical without compromising luxury. Anne has created a business model that inspires shoppers to stop doing harm to the environment. Not as charity, but by solving problems at the source.
Anne is a former Private Equity Manager and Investment Banker where she helped build world-class businesses within the renewable, water, sustainable, retail and health spaces. It was through this work that she realised the extent to which every one of us has the power to impact the environment and the world by changing our daily habits and decisions.
The second highest cause of global pollution is the textiles industry. Kathy decided to attack the problems of environmental harm and poverty at the roots.
So she created Elkie & Ark.
All products are hand-picked and sewn using 100% certified Global Organic Textile Standard and Fairtrade cotton. All products are created in fair trade certified factories.
Every purchase from Elkie & Ark contributes directly to paying scholarships for the children of workers and helps to build community projects like schools or women’s centres. Kathy’s goal is to empower people to get out of the poverty cycle through self-made opportunity and education.
Every product keeps the devastating impact of toxic pesticides, dyes and finishing chemicals out of waterways, food chains, wildlife, and ultimately the farmers, makers and all of us.
Let’s Redefine What Makes A Woman Powerful
Powerful Women in Australia are often politicians , this is not to bring them down. Women in the defence force are powerful – The work they have to do to get through in what society deems as a man’s world should definitely be applauded. I think women who dedicated their lives to seeking real global change should be in the media.
Politicians and Wealthy entrepreneurs make the news daily. We’re fed this idea that to be powerful you need wealth. Wrong, being powerful isn’t owning the codes to the nuclear weapons. Making global change so you don’t have to use them is real power.
You can trust these women with their vision, they have made themselves accountable and selfless. They show their customers every day they are committed to their dream.
Elkie & Ark: https://www.elkieark.com
This is a non-sponsored post supporting Women & Social Enterprise within Australia