A financially backed Australian social enterprise has launched, with a strategy in place to create a community of one million women globally by 2023, and which will contribute 90 per cent of profits to charities that fight against the exploitation of women and gender inequality around the world.
Founded by young entrepreneur Jacquie Love, Secret Sisterhood will follow the success of Thankyou water, Who Gives a Crap toilet paper, Crepes for Change, Home Care Heroes, and My Green World – all founded by millennials.
The enterprise is funded by Jacquie, with support from angel investor and serial entrepreneur Colin Fabig, co-founder and former Chairman of LivingSocial ANZ.
Secret Sisterhood will earn revenue through the sale of covetable and meaningful jewellery, exclusive member events and partnerships with local business. These will be supported by strong social media strategies, online educational content, directories of support organisations and women-lead businesses.
Its 90 per cent of profits will fund four charity initiatives: The Entrust Foundation, which fights against sex slavery in India; UN Women in Australia, the UN entity that shelters women from violence in Pacific Islander communities; One Girl, which is on a mission to educate one million girls; and it is loaning money to women micropreneurs in 33 countries through Kiva.org.
What does Secret Sisterhood have to offer?
Secret Sisterhood has launched with a range of beautiful jewellery. This includes a limited edition collection for ‘Founding Sisters’ (early supporters for the movement), designed to be collectors’ items. Secret Founding Sister Jewellery comes in silver, gold and rose-gold necklaces and bracelets, featuring the word ‘Secret’, priced at $129.
Its two other jewellery collections include Sisterhood Symbol Jewellery, featuring its iconic symbol of women’s empowerment (a combination of the women’s gender symbol and a heart) in a range of earrings, necklaces and bracelets, starting at $29; and Intentional Words Jewellery that features a positive, uplifting word in a range of necklaces and bracelets, starting at $79.
Jacquie says: “Initially, we will build our community of women and girls by spreading love, kindness and compliments offline and online, through social media initiatives and secret gatherings, to create a sense of belonging to a cause greater than themselves. They will show their support for women in need by wearing our symbolic jewellery, with 90 per cent of all profits distributed directly to our chosen charities.”
What is the story behind Secret Sisterhood?
Jacquie belongs to the new generation of young Aussies driven by a desire to work for social good, and who are changing the expectation that giving back to the community comes only after a lifetime of career success. Recent research reveals that 70 per cent of Aussie millennials are driven by doing social good, 77 per cent have been involved in a cause for good, 72 per cent want to work for organisations they believe in, and 59 per cent will take a pay cut to do so.
Jacquie founded the Secret Sisterhood after a charity trip to India in December 2016. There she learned about the millions of girls from age 11 that are lured from their village families, promised jobs in the cities and enslaved for life as prostitutes in the red-light districts of Mumbai and Delhi. She heard first-hand from rescued girls of the atrocities they had been destined to endure and felt it was time to do something about it.
Secret Sisterhood is the type of venture that meets the changing expectations of businesses among young Australians: 76 per cent of millennials now regard business as a force for positive social impact, while 74 per cent believe business has the potential to solve the challenges that concern them. As an example, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife not only pledged 99 per cent of their wealth to charitable causes, Mark announced in June 2017 that Facebook is changing its mission to “giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”
Jacquie says: “Whatever our demographics, women face many of the same personal choices, issues and inequities. We make up 50 percent of world’s population, and while we have come a long way in some places, we are still struggling in others. Gender inequality is still very real. I believe we can create the future we all wish to see.”
“Our Secret Sisterhood symbol is one of empowerment and solidarity. Every time women and girls wear our Secret symbol, they will be showing they support gender equality. Secret Sisterhood aims to bring women and girls together to create change.”