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Startups

Founder of group buying site backs new social enterprise

Australian entrepreneur Jacquie Love has launched an online jewellery business and social enterprise, Secret Sisterhood, with financial backing from angel investor Colin Fabig, co-founder of Jump On It, an Australian group buying site acquired by LivingSocial in 2012.

Following the model of brands such as Thankyou water, Who Gives a Crap toilet paper, Crepes for Change, Home Care Heroes and My Green World, Secret Sisterhood will contribute 90 per cent of profits to charities that fight against the exploitation of women and gender inequality around the world.

The company will earn revenue through sales of jewellery, exclusive member events and partnerships with local business. It aims to build brand awareness through social media, online educational content and directories of support organisations and women-led businesses.

“Initially, we will build our community of women and girls by spreading love, kindness and compliments offline and online, through social media initiatives and secret gatherings, to create a sense of belonging to a cause greater than themselves,” said Love.

“They will show their support for women in need by wearing our symbolic jewellery, with 90 per cent of all profits distributed directly to our chosen charities.”

Secret Sisterhood currently supports four charity initiatives: The Entrust Foundation, which fights against sex slavery in India; UN Women in Australia, the UN entity that shelters women from violence in Pacific Islander communities; One Girl, which is on a mission to educate one million girls; and is loaning money to women micropreneurs in 33 countries through Kiva.org.

Love founded the Secret Sisterhood after a 2016 charity trip to India, where she heard first-hand from young girls who had been lured from their villages by the promise of jobs in cities, only to be enslaved as prostitutes in the red-light districts of Mumbai and Delhi.

Love’s decision to do something about it by starting a business is characteristic of her generation.

Recent research reveals that 76 per cent of millennials now regard business as a force for positive social impact, while 74 per cent believe business has the potential to solve the challenges that concern them.

Secret Sisterhood offers consumers the chance to do so by purchasing a piece of silver, gold or rose-gold jewellery. The social enterprise currently offers three collections of necklaces and bracelets, with price points of $29, $79 and $129.

“Whatever our demographics, women face many of the same personal choices, issues and inequities. We make up 50 per cent of world’s population, and while we have come a long way in some places, we are still struggling in others. Gender inequality is still very real,” Love said.

“I believe we can create the future we all wish to see. Our Secret Sisterhood symbol is one of empowerment and solidarity. Every time women and girls wear our Secret symbol, they will be showing they support gender equality. Secret Sisterhood aims to bring women and girls together to create change.”

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