What if social enterprises could change the game for people with disability?
This is the question this month’s Pure Community donation recipient is asking and, helping to make a reality.
Fighting Chance is working to change the climate for people living with a disability by creating disability-specific small businesses that offer real employment opportunities. They offer work, training and skill development opportunities to young people with disability, which helps create a feeling of social justice and inclusion and also creates meaningful employment for young people who traditionally would not be able to find it – even with the help of existing disability specific services.
Created to harness the time, skills and abilities of people with disability, The Avenue is a retail distribution and marketing business, created by fighting chance, that brings social and ethical brands to the world. It was created to enable people with profound and severe disability to access work skills, with the support they need to achieve their goals, as well as support the employment of people with disabilities in developing countries like Nepal, Cambodia and India, who are highly skilled in crafting home wares, accessories and toys from natural and recycled materials. This places an emphasis on the importance of having access to vocational training and purposeful work, and creates a huge range of work for the people who need it most.
The enterprise sells unique, hand-crafted products made by artists with disabilities from Australia and all over the world and engages a diverse team of individuals with varying abilities to run the business, from administration through to sales and distribution. Products are available from the online store and community markets.
100% of proceeds are reinvested in their staff and everyone is remunerated for their contribution fairly and in a way that suits their circumstances.
Another enterprise created by Fighting Chance, Jigsaw provides digitisation services to the corporate and government sectors in order to generate award-paying jobs training and pathways to mainstream employment for people with disability. It was developed in response to the high rates of unemployment faced by people with disability and specialises in outsourced data entry, document auditing, social media management and paperless office services. Proceeds from Jigsaw’s commercial activities are used to promote the interests of people with disability in Australia by a) perpetuating employment opportunities for a demographic group who are chronically under-employed and b) by contributing to Fighting Chance.
School Leavers Employment Support Program
The School Leavers Employment Support Program also runs out of Jigsaw, which is a specific learning program, designed to provide school leavers with real skills, working within a real business. The program usually takes people on for two years immediately after leaving school and provides the potential for ongoing employment upon completion. The program also assists recipients transition in to the mainstream workforce or onto further education and training.
Fighting Chance is currently seeking financial and non-financial support and partnerships to develop existing social enterprises. Both Jigsaw and The Avenue offer work experience opportunities and Fighting Chance also provides support for people trying to navigate the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). If you need any advice about what the NDIS means for you, how to prepare for the transition to NDIS or how to navigate the new system of funding once you have transitioned, they are available to share their experience with you, and offer support, which is free and accessible to everyone.
If you want to get involved and help support Fighting Chance, you can find them (and their social enterprises) here:
*Pure Community and Pure Finance have no direct affiliation with the organisations and causes listed on this page, we simply appreciate the work that they do, and choose to show our appreciation by contributing to them.