From start up entrepreneurs, to volunteers, business owners, managers and staff, Make a Change works with people from all walks of life who want to create positive change in their organisation or community.
To celebrate Karen’s selection as 2015 Face of Small Business Victoria we are profiling some of the small businesses Karen has assisted to establish. What you will notice about these businesses is that they are both successful as businesses and as changemakers.
“I am really keen to support Karen,” states local artist Ben Winspear. Ben has been painting professionally for over ten years and has held numerous successful solo and joint exhibitions.
“Karen first approached me with her accommodation business venture Stay Social. Mostly if I am approached by a business to show my work they don’t purchase the art and it can be used as free decor. Karen purchased my art work and will on sell to her clients. This method is working two ways I am getting paid and my work is getting seen.”
Working as a small business in the arts in regional Victoria can be really challenging. Bendigo is fantastic as it has some great resources like the Bendigo Art Gallery and Ulumbarra Theatre and community based cultural activity, but there is a real gap for professional artists.
I am, with like-minded arts businesses, working to engage Karen to facilitate a conversation about this, using the Make a Change Outside the Square model. We are raising awareness and activating participation around the challenge of regional, professional artistic practice and how we can work together for better solutions for all of us.
Lyndon Galea’s social enterprise Eat Up is making a big impact on school children’s lives in Victoria.
Working in partnership with organisations like Bendigo Foodshare and TAFE’s apprentice chefs, Eat Up provides lunch to school kids who wouldn’t otherwise have food. His great initiative has already proven it works. Eat Up has been operating in Shepparton since 2013.While a student of Social Change Bendigo 101 in 2014, with Make a Change Australia, Lyndon established Eat Up in Bendigo. Eat Up now operates in Melbourne.
“This time last year I was studying social enterprises with Karen. This year I am working in my dream job.”
Shannon Ryan is the Manager of Side x Side, a social enterprise café in central Bendigo serving fantastic food and transforming young people’s lives.
SidexSide is a Bendigo based not-for-profit youth Inc that enables young people and those supporting young people to develop youth led initiatives. In less than 12 months Shannon, with her team and with great partnerships with FEO is employing three young people and providing training to 16 students. These students are studying Certificate 3 in Hospitality and Commercial Cooking and also receiving paid shifts at the café.
“Working with Karen provided me with the strategic plan to find partnerships and opportunities to open a café and employ young people. I have a strong network now that will help me to continue to grow my small social enterprise.”