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Tech startup helps retailers give $500,000 to charities

Australian social enterprise and tech startup, i=Change, last week reached a major milestone, having raised $500,000 over the last four years for charities that improve the lives of women and girls around the world.

Founded in 2013 by Jeremy Meltzer, i=Change is based on the idea that consumer spending can be a force for good.

The platform allows retailers to donate $1 from every online sale, while customers get to choose where the money goes. They can also track the impact of the donation in real-time.

Around 40 Australian retailers have joined i=Change, including iconic brands like Pandora Jewellery and Camilla, donating to causes ranging from ending sex trafficking in South East Asia, providing housing for refugee women in Australia, preventing underage marriage in Bangladesh and keeping girls in school in Rwanda.

Their donations are impacting the lives of 115,000 women and girls and counting. i=Change wants to grow that number ten-fold by the end of 2018.

“Now more than ever consumers – especially millennials – want to support brands that have a purpose beyond profit,” Meltzer said.

“Our goal is to impact the lives of 1 million women and girls by the end of 2018. We want to make this the ‘new normal’; turn retail into a force for good, unleash the potential of women and girls, and significantly contribute to creating the world we all wish to see.”

This goal aligns with the mission of Australian fashion brand, Camilla, according to founder, Camilla Franks.

“Our dream for Camilla is bigger than fashion. It’s about a full vision with heart that aims to empower women with skills, education, purpose and a safe community. The i=Change platform allows this and we’re so proud to be part of this incredible initiative,” she said.

i=Change has also created a new funding stream for extraordinary not-for-profits, such as Plan, UN Women and Adara Development.

Founder and chair of Adara, Audette Exel AO, said the platform demonstrates the impact business can have on the lives of vulnerable communities across the globe.

“This innovative model is directly helping us prevent the trafficking of children in Nepal, and premature babies survive in Uganda.”

By Christmas day, in 2017 Australians will have spent $24 billion online. i=Change wants retailers and customers to ask what would happen if $1 from each purchase could be redirected to impact a woman or young girl’s life?

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