Challenging inequality for women is a complex problem requiring a multi-layered and multi-faceted approach – but achieving economic equality might be the crucial first step.

In the lead-up to International Women’s Day 2021 – taking place this year on Monday 8 March – the chosen theme of ‘Choose to Challenge’ is a call to arms for every Australian. 

We’re called to recognise our biases and misconceptions, and to seek out and celebrate where we’ve overcome these obstacles and achieved success.

Global Sisters CEO Mandy Richards said the organisation she founded exists to answer that call, with this year’s theme providing an opportunity to reflect upon the team’s valuable core purpose.

“Challenging economic inequality is absolutely the driving force behind our work at Global Sisters,” she said.

“Money alone doesn’t solve all of our social problems, but for women facing crippling financial disadvantage, money means having choices,” she said.

“We work by providing a genuine alternative to women who aren’t able to participate in mainstream employment, helping them secure the support and access the infrastructure they to build their own sustainable businesses.

“By making business possible and helping women become financially independent, they’re free to make important choices and positively impact everyone around them, including their family members and wider community. 


This approach is more important than ever, given the extensive changes that our workforce has undergone over recent years. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has both revealed glaring inadequacies in our support for the most vulnerable in the community, and accelerated changes that were already underway.

The Global Sisters approach is centred on democratising entrepreneurship; that is, making business ownership possible and more accessible for everyone, especially those who will benefit most from the flexibility and agility it offers. 

And it’s an approach that’s proving to work. 

In 2021, Global Sisters celebrates a powerful track record of success, having worked with 4,200 women to generate more than 3,500 business ideas, resulting in 640 businesses already established from a total of 793 planned, thanks partly to around $2.2M in external pro bono business support provided.

The latest addition to a growing portfolio of products and services is The Marketplace, opened in late 2020, and providing an Australian first online sales platform for female entrepreneurs.

It’s free to join, with no set-up fee, no ongoing monthly fees, and only a small commission payable on each transaction.

The Marketplace is just one element of the Global Sisters end-to-end approach, which also includes  business idea generation and foundational business education; business incubation including business development education, tools, networks, coaching and microfinance; and, ongoing support to help Sisters accelerate and grow their businesses.

You learn more about the women who #ChooseToChallenge their circumstances and how they’re working with Global Sisters by reading their stories:

Want to help? You can support women in business and shop the Marketplace right now!