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Embrace the #Manbassador in You!

We celebrated IWD last week with so many great men and women and during the week we stumbled across a fantastic term Manbassador (full credit to Leanne Kemp, Chief Entrepreneur of Queensland). And what an inspiring term it is!

So let’s break it down. We’d be most familiar with political ambassadors who represent their country in another nation and build relationships. According to the Oxford dictionary, an ambassador is also a representative or promoter of a specified activity.

 

Awesome #manbassadors — Harley WestonIsaac Holmyard & Marc Orchard

In the context of IWD and #balanceforbetter, a Manbassador is someone who represents, promotes and supports women in all the arenas that have traditionally only been reserved for men. They’re also the guys who believe our voices, opinions and contributions matter as much as theirs — they recognise that they’re as much on this journey to balance, equality and fairness as any of us women are.

While we’ve come a long way as a society, women still start life behind the eight ball. We’re born into a world where men hold the majority of government and corporate leadership positions — and the reality is, people at the top set the tone for the group and these groups make up our society. Manbassadors can provide a pathway to balance by promoting and supporting the idea of women in leadership roles.

One of the many benefits of balance is diversity and diversity increases a team’s creativity and performance. A balanced group is also more representative of the world we live in and that’s a world I want to live in.

Manbassador extraordinaire Michael ReidCISCO, supporting women in the workplace.

My husband has always been an ambassador for women, giving me complete support to live life in the best way for me and us as a family. And with 2 daughters we want to know they will have every opportunity to live the life of their dreams.

We’re still not 100% used to seeing women in leadership positions but both men and women need to embrace it. Women need to be brave enough to be seen as the female at the table and bring our insights, instincts and emotions to the discussion. And men need to get comfortable with it too — showing passion and emotion (including tears!) does not warrant the label of hysterical! Manbassadors can help usher in a change of perception and allow women to be themselves in business settings.

And before I go any further, we want to acknowledge all the hardworking men who have traditionally been the providers — no easy job that comes with significant pressure, ensuring your family is safe and protected, with a roof over their heads and enough food to eat, allowing them to live happily.

 

Yet more awesome #manbassadors — Peter LaurieLlew JuryCristo Pajust

One concrete way #manbassadors can help right now is by sponsoring a woman via SheEO. “SheEO is a global initiative designed to radically transform the way we finance, support, and celebrate female entrepreneurs who are creating new mindsets, new models and new solutions that are benefiting humanity.”

Less than 4% of venture capital flows to female founders. To all the wonderful male champions of change (aka #manbassadors), please consider sponsoring a woman in your family or your office. Alternatively contact me and I will connect you to wonderful women changemakers that you can support. The youngest Activator is 14 and receiving a masterclass in business and investment surrounded by supportive committed mentors.

 

#manbassador Mark Healy from Global Payments Inc.bringing balance on IWD

A huge shout out to Global Payments Inc. who are the first global organisation to activate for SheEO!!

We live in interesting times, with so many inspiring women out there leading the charge and #manbassadors right beside them, not holding their hands, but supporting and encouraging them as equals.

International Women’s Day 2019 – #BalanceforBetter

This year marks the 109th International Women’s Day, celebrated on the 8 March and the theme for 2019 is #BalanceforBetter. So what is balance actually – well according to the English Oxford Living Dictionary it’s “a situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions”. And with regards to gender parity in the workplace here at WBGS we think that’s something really great to work towards.

I’ll be right in the swing of it this year. Kicking off the day I’ll be speaking at the Queensland Association of State School Principals inaugural IWD breakfast. Straight after that I’ll be speaking with Monica Bradley at Global Payments who’s nominate cause for IWD is SheEO (more on this below). And finally I’ll be participating in the Global Goals for Sustainable Development Activation Seminar Series hosted by the University of Queensland.  This seminar is about women leading the creation of circular economies for advancing Australia’s SDG 2030 agenda. And of course we strongly support SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. I couldn’t be more excited to be speaking at all of these events, helping champion female leadership.

It’s also a really exciting time in Australia with regards to women-led start-ups. In true female style, women are getting together to address the balance via SheEO. Currently, 96% of venture capital goes to male founders – meaning only 4% goes to female led ventures. SheEO is “a radically redesigned ecosystem that supports, finances, and celebrates female innovators”. They are not trying to fit women into the existing system, rather they are shifting mindsets, levelling the playing field and creating new models for start-ups and business. I am both honoured and proud to say I am a SheEO Activator and Semi-finalist in 2019 helping create a fairer future for women and our ventures. Join me in creating a perpetual fund for women in Australia.

The reality is diversity is just better. Several studies have shown diversity leads to more creative teams and increases a company’s performance. Research by Cloverpop has found that “diverse teams make better decisions up to 87% of the time”. Businesses that are more representative of the people and the world in which we live i.e. diverse teams, will take into account many more perspectives and help to build a world that reflects what we feel and know to be important. This is how we will create the Zebra companies of the future and heal the world.

There are many awesome male champions out there stepping up beside women to accelerate our representation. But as women, we really need to step up to the plate and do the work aswell. We need to believe that we can do it and challenge any impostor syndrome that crashes the party. Don’t wonder if there’s a seat at the table for you – assume that there is! And as females, we also absolutely must celebrate other women’s successes – another woman’s success is not a threat to you! In fact, it’s a very good sign that times are changing and there will be opportunities for you to realise your dreams aswell.

We look forward to a world where our differences are a thing of the past – gender, colour, race, religion etc. and everyone belongs and is fulfilled. This IWD is a chance to celebrate all women, everywhere, in all their shapes and sizes and for whatever choices they have made about how they want to live their lives. We are equally deserving of a chance to live our dreams – let’s all do our part, pay it forward and ensure our daughters, nieces and granddaughters all have a smooth path.

 

Some suggestions for what you can do on IWD 2019

Get along to an IWD Event on Friday 8 March

There are so many great events happening across Australia and internationally. Some of the local Brisbane events are listed below:

 

What are you doing yourself to level-up?

Consider how you as a woman are challenging yourself to grow and be your personal best. This is not about comparing ourselves to other people (comparison is the ‘thief of joy’), but really going inside and unearthing our deepest goals and challenging any limiting assumptions about what we can achieve in the world. When was the last time you were really outside your comfort zone? It’s scary but also exhilarating – get out there.

 

How can you support other women?

Take the chance on IWD to shout out to all your female family members, friends and colleagues and congratulate them on a job well done. Also consider giving a gift that empowers other women – there are many great organisations helping to further #BalanceforBetter, see IWDs recommended Female-focused charities and foundations. Through acknowledging and supporting other women that balance will be achieved.

Behind the Scenes of #RiverPitch

We are so excited to be one of the 4 contenders going through to the semi-finals for RiverPitch. With so many great contestants, a bit like the Oscars, it really is an honour just to be participating!

Yas on set with Steve Baxter

Working with Steve Baxter, who mentored all 8 contestants with so much honesty and passion, was a unique opportunity that I relished. He is a wealth of knowledge for anyone in the start-up space and really hones in on the areas you need to work on as business.

Any time with him is a privilege and I really valued his feedback. He forced me to look closely at my pitch and structure it better for the intended audience. The first part of the day we talked about our story and our journey so far. He then helped me really focus on the numbers and impact we can have on communities, our ability to scale globally and how we can best communicate this to potential investors.

 

The QLD RiverPitch crew!

The whole day was a fantastic process and really energising. I spent a lot of time with other founders who all have fantastic vision and are really putting their ideas on the line. We spent time getting to know each other’s business concepts and models and were really able to challenge each other and bounce pitch ideas off each other. It was awesome to learn from them and I found I could offer skills and insights in areas I was strong in and the other founders offered me the same.

And this is testament to the incredible Queensland start-up ecosystem. Organisations like River City Labs (founded by Steve Baxter) provide great environments to learn, grow, collaborate and really build your business ideas and models. It’s a strong community in Queensland and I was so proud to be a part of the program.

 

Fun with some awesome QLD Founders!

We also really appreciated having another platform to share our vision and model, highlighting our key messages about activating dormant goods for the circular economy and the “Garage Sale in a Box” concept — taking events global with a unique licensed platform and dashboard.

We are a profit for purpose organisation enabling other communities to raise money without having to go down the typical fundraising path. Along the way we’re also providing mechanisms to ensure good products circulate for as long as possible thereby avoiding waste that would eventually end up in landfill.

 

First pitch for RiverPitch at RCL!

We want to make this a profitable business, which is really important because profitable businesses have momentum, longevity and resources that pure charities can lose over time. By scaling the events we can greatly magnify our positive impacts to both communities and the environment and ensure the good work is self-sustaining. Platforms like RiverPitch give us the chance to turn our business plans into reality.

If anyone’s ever wondered what it takes to turn your ideas into reality and venture into the start-up space then a TV program like RiverPitch lifts the lid on what’s involved — I encourage you to watch, learn and get behind the vibrant start-up community in Queensland and Australia.

A huge thanks to Your MoneyACS — The Professional Association for Australia’s ICT sector and River City Labs for leading the way in showcasing start-ups on this platform.

For those who haven’t caught Episode 1 of RiverPitch yet, you can check it out here.

WBGS Reality TV Debut on RiverPitch

We are excited to announce that the World’s Biggest Garage Sale CEO Yas Grigaliunas is one of the QLD contestants on an innovative new program, RiverPitch that launched Tuesday the 26th of February at 7:30pm on Your Money (Ch 95 on FTA or Ch 601 on Foxtel).

You can Catch Up on this week’s episode, to see Yasmin and the World’s Biggest Garage Sale make it through to the next round. There’s also a Recap of Episode 1  on Your Money.

In partnership with ACS and River City Labs, RiverPitch puts 24 Australian start-ups in the spotlight and on the fast track to growth, promoting and championing the Australian entrepreneur! Kylie Merritt, CEO of Your Money, said RiverPitch reflects both organisations’ commitment to supporting “Australian business and innovation”.

Hosted on Your Money, over the course of eight weeks, 24 contestants from around the country will compete to win a prize valued at $20,000 and to be named the overall winner.

During the eight weeks, each contestant works with an industry leader, mentoring them in perfecting their pitch, including:

 

Once the contestants have made it through the first round, they’ll face the judges:

 

Yas Grigaliunas commented, “When we held our very first World’s Biggest Garage Sale back in 2013, we dreamt of being on national television, so it’s incredible we are actually going to be one of the 8 Queensland startups on RiverPitch. And it’s a great group of startups! A big thanks to Your Money, ACS and River City Labs for this opportunity.”

You can tune in each week to see the judges evaluate each contestant’s pitch and determine the viability of each product’s potential to scale, the market fit, and the entrepreneur’s passion to succeed.

You can watch RiverPitch live from Tuesday the 26th of February at 7:30pm on Your Money Channel (Ch 95 on FTA or Ch 601 on Foxtel).

RiverPitch Catch-up| February 26, 2019

RiverPitch Episode 1 Recap| February 26, 2019

                                                                                

This Christmas Join the Growing Movement of Conscious Consumers Who Aren’t Above Pre-loved

With Christmas just around the corner, Brisbane shoppers who want to celebrate the circular economy this year are encouraged to visit the World’s Biggest Garage Sale (WBGS) on Sat 17 November, with a preview night on Fri 16 November. According to the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Roy Morgan, Australians will spend more than $51 billion across retail stores over the Christmas trading period, a 2.9 per cent increase over the previous year. It would be great to see some of that staggering amount of money going towards creating and sustaining a circular economy in Australia.

 

Christmas Decorations available for Sale at WBGS18

The last couple of years have shone a spotlight on waste, with the ABC’s War on Waste series, and China’s waste ban this year highlighting our consumer culture and a waste problem that has been growing for some time. Our attitudes and perceptions regarding products really need to change — we need to look beyond the surface of an item for its buried value. The latest, greatest and shiniest isn’t always the best (particularly for the environment) and while something might not be ‘brand new’, it can still be new for you or your loved ones.

A lot of people still feel a real stigma around giving gifts that are pre-loved, thinking that others will consider them stingy, but there are a couple of ways to transition.

  • Start with someone you know cares about the environment and openly declare that it is a pre-loved gift and proudly announce where you bought it from, showing the receiver that not only are they receiving a wonderful gift, but that the money spent acquiring it is going towards growing a better community and world to live in.
  • Carefully match the item to the person and ensure it is something they will absolutely love, so they know you’ve put a lot of care into its purchase.
  • Children are great recipients of pre-loved gifts, often not giving a care about where it came from (I know my kids often had more fun with the big box the present came in, rather than the actual gift!). Again, if it’s not for your kids, declare the origins of the gift.
Stationery and Toys on offer at WBGS18 this weekend.

There are many great items on offer at WBGS that would make excellent gifts e.g. christmas decorations, antiques, arts and crafts, stationery, home décor and artwork, quality manchester, electrical goods, gardening items, toys for the kids and appliances still in their boxes.

According to Channel 7 news, most Brisbane locals are more likely to spend money in-store than online and about half of Brisbane like to get their Christmas shopping done by the end of November. So be sure to include WBGS on your November Christmas Shopping trail, grab a bargain and join the growing movement of conscious consumers who aren’t above pre-loved and enjoy knowing their purchase is helping the environment and growing a better world powered by People, Planet and Profit for Purpose!