Who we are

SisterWorks is a not-for-profit social enterprise, based in Melbourne

Through work and entrepreneurship, our mission is to support women who are refugees, asylum seekers or migrants to improve their confidence , mental wellbeing and sense of belonging.

SisterWorks’ Model – Work Empowers Women – runs flexible dual programs, where women are ‘learning by doing’ how to work effectively in Australia (earning money is a key element that encourages women to improve their personal development and ensure social, emotional and economic participation) while developing English literacy and business skills.  More importantly, the women gain confidence, empowering them to develop skills to address and manage present challenges and barriers that otherwise prevent them from accessing individual pathways to employment, entrepreneurship, further education and community connectedness.  

The SisterWorks Empowerment Hub provides a supportive environment with a strong collective supporting women in a child-friendly surroundings. Not all women become entrepreneurs immediately. We bring women together in a safe space to learn, share, support and grow. Our Empowerment Hub has Four Pillars strongly supported by Social, Design and Business mentors:

  • Design Lab:  high-quality products/services in production line and teamwork
  • Cooking Lab: end-to-end food production skills, transferable business
  • Work Lab: retail sales and supply chain distribution channels
  • Business Hub: Navigation of pathways to education, employment, entrepreneurship and leadership.

SisterWorks has supported 492 women from 56 different countries in different roles:

  • We have supported 268 Entrepreneurs
  • 37 have their own businesses
  • 21 are employees
  • 20 are further studying
  • 5 community leaders
  • 103 are trading products through our sales channels, and
  • 224 migrant/refugee women have volunteered with us gaining meaningful work experience, many of them have got professional jobs.
    How we do this

    We foster those women with entrepreneurial ambitions, teach them skills, provide them a space to create and sell their wares, and the broader network of SisterWorks women supports them.

    We firmly believe that ‘Work Empowers Women’. Therefore, rather than becoming beneficiaries, SisterWorks women become our business partners, and together we develop and sell marketable products with 50-75% of the profits going to individual Entrepreneurs and the remainder going back into supporting the broader group.

    Why we do this

    Ultimately, we do this to create a better future for Australian society.

    Women with migrant, asylum seeker and refugee backgrounds are the community’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged newcomers. They face social isolation, domestic violence, long-term unemployment and dependence on government welfare.

    We support women to support themselves.

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