After receiving a record number of applications this year, and spending many hours thoughtfully and prayerfully considering who to partner with, we have selected this year's All Good Ventures projects!
Introducing: Thunderbird Studios (Canada), Ridi Trading (Africa), Restore Enterprises (Australia) and Ministry of Chai (New Zealand)!
These four budding social enterprises come from all corners of the world, and although their business ideas differ significantly from one another, they have one important thing in common: their drive to see people freed from deprivation.
Read more about who we're supporting with Money, Mentorship and Muscle this year:
Social Enterprise #1: Thunderbird Studios
Fort St. John, Canada
- Thunderbird Studios aims to work with young indigenous addicts and human trafficking survivors in the far north of Canada. These issues are rife in the area.
- Project leader, John Lambert, is a third-generation First Nations wood carver living in northeastern British Columbia. He already owns a highly successful wood carving and teaching business by the name of Johnny’s Legacy Works, and is best known for selling commemorative carvings to government organisations.
- Having experienced violence and family addiction firsthand, John is passionate about assisting those affected by it. He’s currently doing so by working as a facilitator for a local recovery group, Changing Lanes, and in various other community volunteer roles.
- In short, Thunderbird Studios, will see young recovering addicts and human trafficking survivors participate in a craftsmanship and mentoring programme based in his studio. Referred by existing First Nations education programmes, participating youth would 1) attend metal and woodworking classes facilitated by John and other First Nations craftspeople and 2) receive wrap-around social services support.
- John’s existing business, Johnny’s Legacy Works, will be the main profit-making component of the social enterprise.
Social Enterprise #2: Restore Enterprises
Moreton Bay Region, Queensland, Australia
- Restore Enterprises aims to employ jobseekers with disabilities, injuries and mental illness initially in the Moreton Bay Region of Australia. There are increasingly few entry level jobs for this group of people in the current Australian job market.
- Project leader, Seath Holswich, and his friend (and fellow applicant) Peter both work full time in the disability employment services field, supporting a caseload of around 200 Australians with disabilities to find suitable work. Seath’s own child has autism, sensory processing disorder, severe anxiety and ADHD.
- In short, Restore Enterprises aims to employ those with disabilities, injuries and mental illness to manufacture and restore furniture for sale. The goal is to nurture their employment skills in a secure environment, and later see them move into permanent work with other employers.
- Once the social enterprise is making profit through furniture sales, revenue would be put back into employing more people with disabilities. Down the track they also intend for some restored furniture to be donated to local safe houses, for the benefit of families escaping domestic violence.
Social Enterprise #3: Ridi Trading
Peninah Wambua from Nairobi, Kenya
- Ridi Trading is an online trade arm to existing social enterprise Adili Africa, founded by our applicant, Peninah Wambua in 2019. Adili Africa exists to improve the holistic health and wellbeing of extremely poor Nairobi artisans including weavers, carvers, painters and the like, from urban slums and rural Kenya.
- Adili Africa, still in its infancy, works with local artisans to help them design and sell handmade products such as jewelry, bags and homewares so they can earn a living. Each artisan also participates in Adili Africa’s three holistic health programmes: business skills training, finance, and health and sports.
- Project leader, Peninah Wambua, has said that currently COVID-19 is rife in the country making it near-impossible for local artisans, including those affiliated with Adili Africa, to sell their products nearby. Pre Covid they earned daily wages by selling art in markets. Markets no longer exist, thus they have no legitimate way to make a living. Consequently the trade, or profit-making aspect of the organisation, is in particular need of development.
- In short, the development of Ridi Trading – a separate online trade arm within Adili Africa - will enable local artisans to sell their products online both locally and internationally. Profits from Ridi Trading would be divided fairly between the artisans, and also go towards operating Adili Africa’s holistic health programmes listed above.
Ministry of Chai
Esther Burnett from Hamilton, New Zealand
- Ministry of Chai is an existing Hamilton-based mobile chai tea cart business founded by Esther Burnett. Currently Esther operates her business similarly to a travelling coffee cart, operating at events and markets. She is known locally as ‘The Chai Tea Lady’ and has an amazing authentic recipe.
- As it stands, Esther can pay herself but needs assistance with developing a business model that generates profit over and above wages. The aim is to work towards funnelling profits into 1-2 community projects in rural India that focus on women and children’s education.
- She’d like to expand Ministry of Chai in the following two ways: 1) offer boutique event and private hire of the caravan and 2) open an online shop selling tea accessories and dry spices. She also wants to source fair trade and ethical spices as opposed to spices she can readily source nearby.
- Note: Founders Heather and Rod were drawn to this business idea and Esther’s heart behind it. We believe some more work needs to be done to determine its profit-making potential over-and-above wages; so, we'll mentor Esther for two months, together establishing a comprehensive budget and business plan. Should the business prove financially sustainable, funding will be made available. We're excited to work together on this!