[Sub ID 4615] Dreamers and Doers (Spark Strategy)

Submission ID: 4615
Organisation name: Spark Strategy

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?

Young carers

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Madeleine Buchner, CEO at Little Dreamers Australia, often hears stories from Young Carers who are unable to find stable work because of the financial pressure and emotional toll this puts on them and their families. While some are able to combine paid work with an unpaid caring role, many are forced to disengage from the workforce either because the intensity of their caring role is too great, because they cannot access sufficient appropriate substitute care or because they are unable to find jobs that provide adequate flexibility (VCOSS, 2014).

To counter the difficulties faced in balancing work with caring responsibilities, many Young Carers have directly expressed an interest in starting their own business as it would provide for flexible working arrangements, such as home-based work and flexible start and finish times. The problem facing these Young Carers is access to the education and support needed to learn the entrepreneurial and technological skills required to start and run a business, and thereby achieve financial independence. An additional challenge is finding like-minded collaborators who could work as co-founders. This is important for any start-up but imperative for Young Carers with competing and time-sensitive responsibilities to ensure the sustainability of the business.

What is your idea? Dreamers and Doers is a design-thinking based entrepreneurship program specifically targeting youth with caring responsibilities. It will provide Young Carers with the opportunity to think creatively and critically, exercise leadership, build decision-making skills, enhance their computational thinking, increase communication skills and build on their ability to work in a team while empowering them through connections, funding and support.

Dreamers and Doers is based on 5 pillars, which will boost job creation for Young Carers by helping them reach their full potential: 1. Wraparound support; 2. Capacity and skills building; 3. Socialisation and collaboration opportunities to connect with other Young Carers as potential co-founders; 4. Ongoing mentorship and guidance to support their success; 5. Networking and seed funding to validate and launch their business. Each project partner will be responsible for delivery based on their area of expertise.

Enabling young people to meaningfully engage in initiatives that they create not only makes youth the stakeholders of their immediate future, but of their community’s long-term well-being. By empowering Young Carers to see problems as opportunities, Dreamers and Doers will be a win-win for spurring entrepreneurial activity and helping Young Carers at risk of long-term unemployment.