Global Sisters Annual Report 2021

Back Her Brilliance

Heather Thomson COO, Florence Olugbemiro of Designed by Florence, and Mandy Richards CEO/Founder.
Florence was a mother, wife, entrepreneur, our Sister and friend. She was larger than life and a vibrant leader within our Community who is greatly missed.

Our Vision

A world where every woman is provided the opportunity to create her own economic future.

Our Purpose

Making business possible; Unlocking the potential in every woman to own her economic future.

Impact as of June 2021


Women Supported


Value of Pro Bono Support to Sisters

Global Sisters impact domains are mapped to UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Business Acumen


Financial Resilience




Global Sisters' role in Covid-19

The gendered impact of COVID-19 saw women losing casual, unstable jobs and increasing their carer responsibilities, as children were educated from home for much of the year in 2020-21.  Women started seeking flexible jobs and ways to generate an income that overcame these barriers to employment. Global Sisters experienced an increase in demand during the COVID lockdowns of 2020-21, and were able to meet that demand via our nationally accessible, online programs. Additionally, women who already were running a micro business but relied on in-person sales prior to the pandemic were forced to move their operations and sales online. The Global Sisters solution to helping women sell online, overcoming cost and technical capability barriers, was the Marketplace which was launched in November 2020.

Learn More

Our Programs

Global Sisters provides a roadmap of programs and tools including:

These programs and support are delivered digitally and in place via Hubs.

Sales & Marketing: Marketplace

Global Sisters launched the pilot of Marketplace in November 2020, as our primary strategy to support Sister business sales & marketing and enable them to sell online. The intention is to provide an e-commerce platform for women’s micro business, whether they can sell their product, service or experience from anywhere in Australia.


  • Provides an efficient, cost effective and scalable mechanism for diverse women’s micro business to access online markets 
  • Improves digital inclusion by overcoming tech and cost barriers for women selling online
  • Provides one destination for purpose led corporate spending.

250 Sisters shops on Marketplace

Shop Now


The businesses that are being established by Sisters are overwhelmingly for-purpose or what we call #GOODBusinesses, whether they are structured as social enterprises, not-for-profits or for-profit businesses. On the Marketplace we highlight the brands that have taken steps to do business that is good for people & planet. To help consumers purchase from brands that align with their values, we have created four #GOODBusiness values that we encourage sellers to work towards. We celebrate and focus marketing efforts on businesses that are living these values.

Women Led

Businesses supporting women’s financial independence.


The business sources with care, has a transparent and environmentally conscious supply chain, produces with a reduced environmental impact, recycled/ upcycled and uses natural, sustainable materials.

Kind to animals

Brands that use cruelty-free production methods and ingredients that do not harm animals. Product made using non-animal alternatives or methods associated with good animal welfare.

Community minded

The business provides “decent work” (UN Sustainable Development Goal 8) for both the founder and those they employ. The business upholds the welfare and fair working conditions of their workers and those in their supply chain. The business is committed to engaging and supporting the communities their business exists to serve.

Pro Bono Business Coaching
& Services

Corporates and business leaders continue to support women’s micro business through the Global Sisters Coaching & Pro Bono Services programs. Momentum Coaching, Industry Circles and Pro Bono Support enables Sisters to make their first sales, build confidence and fast-track their business growth through connections and sales opportunities.

336 volunteers

have provided coaching and pro bono support to Sisters


has been transferred in
pro bono support to Sisters

Microfinance & Financial Wellbeing

The Global Sisters Microfinance program currently includes Business Loans and access to micro business insurance via Suncorp/ AAMI.

Business Loans

Our Business Loans are micro loans for early stage micro businesses. This is filling a gap in the market and making finance accessible for women-led micro businesses. 

Business Insurance

Business Insurance is made available to Sisters via a tailored Suncorp/ AAMI small business insurance product.

Business loans stats to date


loans made




on time payment

Financial Inclusion, Capability & Wellbeing

Global Sisters has commenced creating a roadmap of financial products and services for Sisters, both for their business development and overall economic security.

In the coming year, Global Sisters will continue to identify, co-design and facilitate access to a suite of custom financial products and services for self-employed Australian women, that lead to improved financial resilience and wellbeing now and in the future. These tailored products will be delivered to Sisters via partnerships with financial institutions. These products and services for Sisters would be made available and accessible to all Australian women on low-incomes.

Sister Stories

Chocolate on Purpose, Regional Victoria

First Nations business producing chocolate with Australian native botanicals.

Read Fiona's full story

Heat Wear You Need It, Brisbane

Single mum with a medical disability producing therapeutic heat packs.

Read Angie's full story

Camie Fleur, SW Sydney

Young migrant with an eco & social purpose floristry business.

Read Cyana's full story


Women supported

END 2019


END 2020


Q2 2021


The Australian women that Global Sisters support are approaching business differently to the mainstream startup sector – they are predominantly micro (under 4 employees) businesses, and what we describe as “good” businesses. Typically these businesses are not only good for the female founder and economy in terms of job creation and economic activity but good for our society and environment.

Global Sisters has found that the way our Sisters approach business is gradual and iterative, and this characteristic is leading to considered, sustainable businesses over the long term. It means that the way they grow their business is as important as the business itself. Our Sisters are developing their businesses at a pace that suits their circumstances and overcomes the gender-based barriers to business and economic participation.

 Our 2021 impact findings are that not only can we make business possible for women across Australia but that economic security for women is starting to be achieved via “good business”.


Global Sisters exists to make business possible for all women. Diversity and inclusion are central to our mission. Read our Themes papers where we go deeper into the impact Global Sisters has on specific groups of women that we support around Australia and learn how these extraordinary women are breaking down barriers and moving our society forward to be a fairer and more inclusive place for all.

The Real Barriers to Work

Download this paper

Post Pandemic Recovery

Download this paper

Women of Colour

Download this paper

Single Mothers

Download this paper

Women Over 50

Download this paper

First Nation Sisters

Download this paper

B2B Transfer of Value

Download this paper

Long Term Financial Wellbeing

Download this paper

Systems Change

Global Sisters exists to make business possible for all women and create a world where women have the opportunity to own their economic future. To achieve our goal of financial wellbeing & long-term economic security for Australian women, Global Sisters works at two levels:

Direct Impact

Directly supporting women to run micro businesses and become financially resilient through that income.

Systems Change

Leveraging increased business income to change women’s long term economic security.

Our three strategic priorities in systems change are:

Welfare System Reform

A welfare system that supports women wishing to use business to secure their economic future.

Women’s Economic Security Pathway

Ensuring that accessible & affordable financial products, services and advice are available for low-income women to secure assets to protect their financial future.

Elevating Women’s Micro Business

As a focus for national discourse and policy.

Corporate Engagement

Corporate partners provide a range of generalist and expert volunteer coaches from across their organisation. The volunteers deliver targeted business support to Sisters around Australia/NZ. It is a foundational part of Global Sisters ability to support 1000’s of women to create their own job and income via micro businesses. The impact that is co-created is significant for both Sisters and the participating organisations alike. In fact, we have already transferred over $3 Million in value from corporates to emerging Sister business. Global Sisters provides meaningful and engaging development for your employees, by building their coaching skills and business acumen with those who really need it. We provide an opportunity to develop perspective and awareness of real DEI and microbusiness challenges, an experience that traditional learning & development is unable to provide.

Global Sisters has facilitated coaching and pro bono services from businesses of all sizes across Australia. These include the following companies:

Meet Our...


Mandy Richards

Heather Thomson
Chief Operating Officer

Allison Dunlop
Chief Financial Officer

Jessica Cameron
People and Culture Lead

Isabella Jolly
Growth & Commercial Director

Lisa Edinburg
Strategic Projects

Gershon Nimbalker
Policy and Advocacy Advisor

Lisa Brincat
Coaching Program Activator

Victoria Keitel
Marketplace Curator

Alex Drew
Sister Support

Adelle Laing
Regional Cluster Manager (NSW & ACT)

Michelle Lilley
Regional Cluster Manager (North East Victoria)

Lauren Wilby
Project Management Lead

Tineke Osten
Database Lead

Juanita McLaren
Social Impact Coordinator

Fiona Wright
Administration Coordinator

Kirsty Ainsworth
Graphic Designer


Mandy Richards

Deanne Weir

Michelle Dixon

Caitlin Iles

Nick Garrett

Richard Denniss, Director

Nicky Sparshott


The 2020/21 financial year has been a challenging year in terms of establishing new funding partnerships. As a result, this year has seen a 9% drop in our revenue. With the ongoing support of our current partners along with Covid-19 financial assistance from the Federal Government, our overall income remained consistent with the prior year.

We continue to focus on diversifying our income streams and to build sustainable revenue and passive income streams. One such initiative we have been working on during the 2020/21 financial year has been establishing the Global Sisters Marketplace, Australia’s first online Marketplace dedicated to supporting women-led micro businesses & social enterprises.

We are committed to the majority of our expenditure being incurred on programs directly supporting our Sisters and we were able to achieve this objective again during 2020/21. This year saw a 5% drop in expenditure. Our infrastructure costs have remained low due to our partners providing services at pro bono or discounted rates.

Financial report 2021

What next? 2021-22

Global Sisters will start to scale impact across Australia, ensuring that all women who want to earn their own income via micro business are supported to do so. We want to put women’s micro business on the map! Global Sisters seeks to elevate micro business as a powerhouse of the economy and important contribution to the economic recovery from COVID and women’s economic participation and security.

Join our movement

Mandy Richards, CEO/Founder

Heather Thomson, COO

General enquiries

Find out more

About Global Sisters

Our Impact

The Marketplace

Sister Portal

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ABN 36 162 363 180.
PO Box 4077, North Curl Curl 2099, NSW