Leaps & Bounds for Seven Women in 2014
Can you believe we're into December already? As we get into our 2015 planning, we have also done some reflecting on the achievements of 2014. Its been a big year with so many Seven Women wins! So thank you thank you thank you to all our supporters - you're helping us change the world.
Here are our top 8 successes (in no particular order):
- Opening our first rural centre in Nuwakot village, Nepal
- Winning the Ethical Enterprise Award for 2014 in Australia
- Our 2nd centre has become self sustaining, earning its own local income to cover day-to-day operating costs. This means the money generated in Australia can go to expanding our projects with new centres and services.
- New products added to our range, with sewing training delivered to our producers by volunteer Suze, increasing our profit margins
- Services available to our women have expanded including advanced literacy training, exercise classes and a library!
- Visitor itineraries & cooking classes developed with Intrepid Tours and some Australian schools & unis to visit our Kathmandu centre, providing another local source of income
- Exhibited at the Australian Gift & Homewares Association trade fair an secured a host of new wholesale buyers
- We've now had over 750 women come through our centres to learn literacy and skills that result in employment. Life changing.
And so many other smaller wins along the way that have helped us get to these big ones:
- The La Trobe Uni Stall won a prize and continues to provide a regular source of income
- Our Seven Women Nepal manager, Anita, now has an assistant - there's too much for her to do on her own!
- Our volunteer team in Australia continues to grow with Louise, Jess, Suze, Laura, Denise, Fiona, Sarah B, Fabrice added to our existing team of brilliant regulars
- Broadened our online sales to other outlets including www.goodspender.com.au, www.gifts4good.org.au and etsy
- Web sales have increased
- Face-to-face sales team has recruited new shops to buy from us both in Australia AND in Nepal. We even have potential customers in Switzerland and Germany. Look out - we're going global!
- We have found a pattern designer in Australia to help us streamline the production of clothes in our Centres.
- Lots of supporters have visited our Kathmandu Centre, including the 2014 Hands on Development tour.
- We have some Australian buyers wanting quantities large enough that they can import directly from Seven Women Nepal
- We've become a regular at the fair trade Karibu Markets in Melbourne
- You saw as at the Sustainable Living Festival and the Fair@Square festivals in Melbourne, where we also spoke on the panel
- Jess has systemised our Melbourne warehouse!
- Established some great media contacts and build awareness of our brand through some solid press coverage
- Anita is now doing of the governmental reporting in Nepal, so we don't have to pay someone else to do it (well done!)
- Our International Women's Day lunch was so overbooked, we had to have a dinner as well!
- We held a special dinner for International Literacy Day with 100 people attending and donating books for the new library
- We've taken big steps to get our story out there - you'll see a book and documentary soon (these things can take a while but will be worth it in the end!)
- We won the Brilliant Biz Mum award for non-profit organisation in Australia
- We were one of 3 non-profit organisations selected as beneficiaries of the 10x10 Melbourne Gen Y fundraiser
- Steph has been booked to speak at a huge Rotary conference for 2015
- Steph has been booked to speak at a Latina America Symposium for 2015
- Steph has been booked to speak in England and Switzerland for 2015. Did we mention we're going global?!
- We've integrated new inventory software into our Australian systems
- Seven Women has also presented at La Trobe, Deakin & Swinburne universities this year plus Steph spoke at an entrepreneurial class in Buenos Aires
- one of our women, Goma, wants to start her own dressmaking shop, and we are going to support her in the establishment of her business. This can be a place for some of our women to transition out of centre and get some experience working for someone else before starting on their own.
- We have uniforms for our women to wear at the centre. As well as helping to build our brand locally, this builds their sense of belonging and social empowerment.
- We're making good headway into our BIG 2015 GOAL! We're going to buy a house! Stay tuned, we'll tell you how you can help.