• International Women's Day - Global Sisters

For International Women’s Day this year, Melbourne Lifestyle Blog is celebrating local inspiring female-run businesses, and the organisation that supports them.

Mandy Richards aspired to reduce economic inequality by helping women who were unable to sustain mainstream employment. Her brainchild, Global Sisters, has since assisted over 219 businesses and 1500 women to become financially resilient. 30% of the women are single mothers and carers, and over half are aged 50-plus, including women living in regional areas, refugees, Aboriginal single mothers and grandmothers facing homelessness.  Here are some of Global Sisters' success stories.

Global Sisters is such a powerful community,” says Yoko. “A team that all aims to do better and make a real social impact. The energy they make is amazing – I’m very proud to be part of it. It makes me feel very strong like I am not alone, I have other sisters by my side. I feel like I am so loved, this is such a valuable thing, you can’t buy it with money.”

When Yoko arrived in Australia she had no friends. The only person she knew was her husband. She tried several jobs but the language barrier was prohibitive.

One day Yoko posted a photo of her miso. People started asking to buy it and Cooking with Koji was born.

Yoko's special miso

Today, Yoko’s miso was featured on MasterChef Australia, is used in one of Melbourne’s top Sushi bars, and is sold in farmers markets across Victoria. All her fermented products are made with Australian organic ingredients in the traditional Japanese style, are packed in glass jars and shipped in eco packaging. 

Minerva Jimenez Founder of Minjums Foods

New to Australia, unemployed and with a daughter allergic to cow and soy milk, Minerva developed healthy plant-based snacks in her new business, Minjums Foods. Her sweet dips contain no added sugars, additives or artificial ingredients.  They taste delicious and are all natural with ingredients like lentils, fruits and vegetables. She now sells Minjums at farmers markets, selected health food stores, and Minerva is also developing an online store to be launched soon.

Lina Qasem Founder of Robofun

Lina is Palestinian but was living in Jordan and studying computer and information systems before she made the move to Australia. When she arrived, her temporary visa meant it was hard for her to get a job. Instead she volunteered in robotic and coding competitions. She noticed a lack of women in the field and started Robofun to encourage girls into STEM. Robofun now runs robotics and coding 3D design workshops for kids.

These are just some of the inspiring women and businesses that Global Sisters have helped to support. You can support them too by going to the Global Sisters website and sharing with your friends.