By Lauren Hermon
Setting up five coffee shops in Adelaide over a five year period may be ambitious, but seeing young, disadvantaged South Australians reach their business goals is all the inspiration Louise Nobes needs.
Louise is the founder and chief executive of Inspired BUY – a not-for-profit organisation looking at new ways to keep young people in education or training, ultimately supporting them to find sustainable employment.
“I’ve always wanted to do something with a purpose in mind for social good… it takes a long time and doesn’t happen overnight,” she says.
With that long-held vision, Louise and the organisation’s ‘Dream BIG Entrepreneurship Program’ has just been shortlisted in Adelaide City Council’s Social Ventures Incubator Program, which helps to develop business models through a series of workshops and mentoring.
To create social change, Louise says it’s about “working collectively, not competitively”.
Run in partnership with the Department for Education and Child Development and Westfield, Louise and her team of inspiring kids are on track to open a coffee shop called ‘KIK Coffee Concept Stores’ at Westfield Tea Tree Plaza in September.
Another KIK store will open on Pitt Street as part of Uniting Communities’ Adelaide CBD redevelopment in 2018.
“The young people have co-designed these coffee concept stores with the aim to either gain employment at the stores or use it as a pathway to other careers to build business skills so they can be their own entrepreneurs,” she says.
There are 25 disadvantaged Northern Adelaide young people aged between 14 and 21 who are part of the Dream BIG Entrepreneurship Program which runs twice a week.
As part of the program, they learn how to build successful retail businesses, study coffee shops which are “doing well” in the State; map out and understand the design concept, learning everything about logos to brands; and understand the message they’re trying to sell, as well as motivate people to ‘buy’.
With the idea of opening five KIK stores in five years, Louise, a social worker and former small business owner in Adelaide, always hoped her work would bring change in the State.
“We have to think of innovative ways to reach and up-skill younger people so they can have opportunities to shine,” she says.
On the right path to giving young people a ‘chance’, Louise remains motivated by the end result.
“They tell us this program is a reason to get out of bed in the morning,” she says.
“The talent these young people have is so entrepreneurial because of what they’ve had to deal with in their life.
“We have to harness that and give themselves belief… they really are South Australia’s future leaders,” she adds.
Inspired BUY’s Dream BIG Entrepreneurship Program is among eight shortlisted business ideas part of Adelaide City Council’s Social Ventures Incubator Program, which officially starts next month.