The 2014 Ethical Enterprise Award has been awarded to Seven Women, a sustainable enterprise with an aim of empowering marginalised and disabled women through literacy, skills training and employment.
The Enterprise Award, now in its second year, recognised Seven Women as a strong example of a socially conscious business.
“The Seven Women program employs fair trade principles to produce all their products and not only does the program empower the women involved, it has a flow-on effect into the women’s communities,” said Susanna Bevilacqua, CEO of Moral Fairground and award co-founder.
Founded in 2009 as a project to help seven women found working out of a tin shed in Nepal as a result of being disabled, social entrepreneur Stephanie Woollard and her team have created a way for marginalised women to receive training and to earn money.
Seven Women designs what is sold and funds the project through the sale of the women’s hand-made products, enabling the enterprise to invest in the establishment of two centres in Nepal and one regional centre, which have trained and employed over 700 women.
“This award celebrates the importance of informed ethical leadership and demonstrates how organisations that seek an ethical, sustainable offering can also provide great financial returns,” said Phil Vernon, Managing Director of Australian Ethical and award co-founder.
“Seven Women have a conscious and innovative business model that is a testament to the growth of ethical enterprise in Australia.”
The finalists of this year’s 2014 Ethical Enterprise Award included:
- Dharma Door | Fair-trade homewares and lifestyle products making a positive impact through trade
- Eternal Creations | Fair-trade fashion brand with a transparent and ethical manufacturing process
- ETIKO | Ethically made, eco-friendly clothing, footwear and sports gear
- Mission Australia | Generating positive impact through employment opportunities for people excluded from the open labour market and reduction of state-wide mattress waste
- STREAT | A social enterprise that provides homeless and disadvantaged young people aged 16-25 years with a supported pathway from the streets to a career in the hospitality industry