We all enter this world the same, screaming, and naked, as human as each other and as deserving of the same freedoms and rights as the next tiny infant. Unfortunately, people’s access to human rights isn’t as simple as that. It’s dependent on the family you were born into, the postcode you grow up in and other social and economic factors.
As a young kid, I was always aggravated by the disparity of wealth and opportunity that exists in our communities. Why could I, as a 13-year-old girl, access an education without a doubt, when other 13-year-old girls were forced to get married and start a new family when they are still children themselves? This anger turned into activism, dinner table deep dives into political topics and a whole lot of active learning.
I was also under the frustrating impression that, to create positive and powerful change, you had to have influence, power, or money before anyone will even listen to what you have to say. To some extent, that is still true, however, as a teenager I was introduced to another opportunity to create change – the Social Enterprise model. Social Enterprise is a significant sector, representing roughly 1% of Australia’s’ GDP. Social Enterprises are businesses that offer a service or product to consumers, with company profits or investments returned to the community. This is a transformative method of trade, as it takes the commercial focus away from making the “rich richer”, to making our communities fairer and more equitable.
Inspired by this opportunity, in 2017 I co-founded TABOO Period Products, which now sells a high-quality product to consumers and invests company profits and advocacy efforts into providing women in Australia with the dignity of period products, education, and supporting infrastructure. Through the power of business, employing the social enterprise model, I have had the pleasure of leading impactful change before having influence, money, or power. I proved myself wrong. The power never is and never will sustainably sit with individuals, but the power is with the people. Through social business, it can be harnessed to generate positive and powerful change.