In my role as Shadow Minister for Child Protection; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence I have had the opportunity to meet with numerous groups and organisations who work within these portfolios. One such organisation is The Underground Collaborative, a very new but very excellent initiative to help homeless people acquire skills so they can enter the workforce through a community led approach.
Nifnex Magazine – Business & Lifestyle – Voice of The Small Business Community [Feature]
Katie Liew believes in solving community issues so much that she quit her job to start a social enterprise that helps people dealing with homelessness.
The East Victoria Park resident received the Paul Harris Fellowship at an event at the University of WA, which was hosted by the Rotary Clubs of Perth and Crawley on March 22.
“The fellowship is about recognition and the idea is to help its recipients to raise awareness about the issues they care about.”
An emerging social enterprise, The Underground Collaborative, is seeking about $50,000 to provide employment pathways for Perth’s homeless and disadvantaged amid plans to roll out a series of coffee carts across local parks.
The Underground Collaborative’s first initiative is a coffee cart. “We will provide delicious coffee, amazing customer service, and consistency – much like other popular and successful cafes, but we are a for-purpose organisation, existing to make a difference.”
Ultimately Katie plans to scale to include operating in remote regions of Western Australia, which have been identified as areas of need for community development and employment opportunities.
Two local entrepreneurs have been awarded a fully-funded scholarship for Curtin University’s highly successful Ignition business program thanks to the sponsorship of the Town of Victoria Park. Ignition is an intensive one-week training program for aspiring entrepreneurs, academics and corporate innovators to trial, then prepare business ideas for the commercial environment.
Katie is sourcing funding to launch their first initiative, a coffee cart which will provide training and employment to individuals. She hopes the Ignition program will help broaden her network, and provide access to mentorship and guidance for launching the business successfully.
“In the short term, I want to provide employment for people impacted by domestic violence… and at risk people, and find sustainable housing solutions.”…
This week we interview Katie Liew who is about to launch The Underground Collaborative. The start-up will provide employment for the homeless by creating jobs with the not-for-profit’s funding.
As a social enterprise, we are a business that exists purely with the intention to tackle social problems, improve communities, and provide people access to training and employment.
As the Dalai Lama describes, ‘a force for good’ is an action inspired by genuine concern with others. We hope to use our work as a force for good, to inspire action through a collaborative effort.