Social enterprise ecommerce startup Secret Sisterhood aims to tackle gender inequality globally

- September 6, 2017 3 MIN READ
Secret Sisterhood

With a multitude of charities doing important work tackling the many problems of the world, it can be difficult to pick which organisations to put your support towards, even if you have a particular cause in mind.

Helping connect women across the globe to charities working to put a stop to gender equalities is Sydney-based social enterprise Secret Sisterhood.

By giving 90 per cent of its profits to charities, Secret Sisterhood offers a way for buyers to contribute to some of that largest Australian charities aiming to empower women and tackle gender inequality.

Currently, the Sisterhood supports the United Nations Women’s Committee Australia, a UN entity that looks to provide aid to women worldwide, Australian education-focused charity One Girl, and the Entrust Foundation, which looks to serve poor and oppressed communities.

Also supported by the business is Kiva, a US-based charity which provides small loans to women in need to help them start their own business.

Founded by Jacquie Love, who was volunteering with charities, underlying the Secret Sisterhood is a “movement” to develop a community or “sisterhood” of women who can come together to help solve a global issue, while empowering and inspiring each other.

“I have always felt passionate about women’s rights,” said Love.

“Women are disadvantaged because of their gender in every country; it can range from the wage gap in countries like Australia, or could be as extreme as sex trafficking in countries like India. We aim to create a support network for women, a Sisterhood, where women and girls can come together to feel supported and uplifted.”

Taking a charity trip to India at the beginning of this year, Love said she learned about the millions of girls who, from a young age, are lured from their home villages and led into a life of slavery to work as prostitutes in the local red-light districts.

“I wanted to do something to make a difference for women, as women are disadvantaged in every country around the world. I had heard about social enterprise and loved the idea that businesses could run for a social purpose and customers could purchase products and feel good about it at the same time, knowing their profits were directed towards people in need,” said Love.

Launching in June this year, the business sells three different jewellery lines branded with the Sisterhood’s logo or font design. Items on the store include a limited-edition ‘Founding Sisters’ collection for early supporters, which holds a silver, gold and rose-gold necklaces and bracelets for $129.

Splitting 90 percent of its profits equally between the four pillar charities, the Sisterhood’s community has helped fund 93 projects in over 33 countries since its launch.

Social Enterprises Graphic

Social enterprises across Australia

CommPow | Delpino’s

Jewellery aside, to help bring Sisterhood members together to discuss the issue of women’s equality and further awareness about the issue, the business has taken to social media.

Creating a Facebook group under a month ago for women of all ages to come together and talk about their lives and global gender inequality issues, Love said the community has grown to over 1,000 members so far.

Meanwhile, the business’s central Facebook page has over 10,000 likes, with Love saying the business will continue to leverage social media to expand the Sisterhood movement.

Looking to other avenues to grow the community, Love added that the business is currently looking into providing a series of online videos for Sisterhood members to engage with.

“We would like to provide our sisters with talks by motivational, inspiring and uplifting speakers. These talks will cover a variety of issues, such as health, fitness, spirituality and motivation, essentially anything that will benefit women and girls,” Love siad.

“We will release these talks online to allow our sisters to view these speakers no matter where they live. We believe providing content that allows women to grow and learn is very important and we’re passionate about adding this element to our business.”

The business will also aim to host offline events on a monthly basis, encouraging Sisterhood members to host “secret gatherings” either at community spaces, workplaces, or homes, with Secret Sisterhood providing a program for the group to follow.

“It is a great way for our community to get together regularly and show their support for each other,” said Love.

“Over the next 12 months we will be focusing on expanding internationally. We would love for this Sisterhood community to be right around the world, so we can really start making change. Our dream is that by 2023 we will have one million women and girls as part of our Secret Sisterhood, all encouraging, empowering and uplifting each other.”

Image: Jacquie Love. Source: Supplied.