Women’s microenterprises offer a way out of the economic slump of the pandemic


Maddy Connors wants to make her Fierce Tidda Club a social enterprise producing the first vintage products designed and owned by Native people.Credit:Sigrid Petersen

Women who were employed were more than twice as likely to work part time as men, and 1.14 million more women than men were not in the labor force at all.

Ms Nakao understands the importance of women’s economic independence, saying she sees friends and family in Japan who have suffered trying to balance society’s expectations while pursuing their own professional careers.

She was first drawn to Global Sisters because of its microfinance.

Her husband offered to borrow money from his landscaping business to grow hers, but she said that even though “my husband is my A team,” the financial differences could cause tension.

“I want to do it myself. And I don’t want to ask him, “Can I use this money for this?” “Because my decision, my financial decisions and my business decisions are different from those of my husband,” she said.

She imports and sells Japanese traditional blades: chef’s knives, scissors, secateurs and florist cutters. His passion is to perpetuate traditional craftsmanship.

“Craftsmen are getting older and because there is no money in them, young people don’t,” she says.

Ms Nakao recently hired two casual workers, both mothers, saying she wanted to hire people like her and give them flexibility, as she knew how difficult it was for her to find work when her children were young. .

Its pitch called for network introductions and high-end resellers for its products.

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Ms Connors, a proud Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung and a Gamilaroi woman, sought to raise capital to start her new business, Fierce Tidda Club, in the manufacturing phase.

She worked in public health in community and indigenous health agencies before taking maternity leave, then the pandemic struck.

She saw a gap in the market for menstruation products for indigenous people. When she started researching the idea, she discovered the high levels of menstrual poverty among indigenous communities, with often limited access to menstruation products like pads and tampons that can cause girls to miss school. and lose opportunities.

“Not only did I see a gap in the product sales market, I also saw a gap in the services provided to Aboriginal people with periods or even menopause,” said Ms. Connors.

“Many young women from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities do not go to school … for several days during their period, which means they cannot reach their full potential.

“There seems to be less conversation about these things than anything else and I think it’s still a very important health issue to deal with.”

She aims to build her business to sell the first reusable vintage products designed and owned by Aboriginal people. But beyond that, she plans to donate produce each month to Indigenous communities to help fight menstrual poverty and eventually aim to reduce the stigma and shame surrounding menstruation.

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