[Sub ID 4811] Shop Front Hub (MDA LTD)

Submission ID: 4811
Organisation name: MDA LTD
Contact name: Ms Jill Armstrong
State: QLD
Contact email: jilla@mdaltd.org.au
Contact number: 0749212222

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young carers, Young parents, Young students at risk of long-term unemployment

What need or issue are you trying to address?
People who are long-term unemployed or who are at risk of entering long-term unemployment often have caring or family commitments. This decreases their ability to engage in traditional job seeker activities and employment. However, this group possesses diverse skill sets and has a unique insight into consumer spending; particularly consumers who are parents with children aged under 24. Nationally, this consumer group spends between $1100 and $1610 per week on recreational activities, clothing, footwear and food.

The “shop front hub” takes advantage of these existing skills and knowledge, and provides the additional knowledge, skills and community connections for individuals to start-up and establish a small business. This is an opportunity to earn legitimate income in a flexible manner and maintain personal responsibilities. Alternatively, participants will increase the probability of traditional employment pathways with the public exposure of their skills to the wider community.

What is your idea?
“Shop Front Hub” operates from a commercial location as a dual space; the retail shopfront for product display and sale, and a rear workshop space. Participants will attend workshops to develop business concepts, engage in market research, formulate business plans and create products. In addition, participants will explore product branding and e-sales. The finished product is then displayed and sold in the retail space, with participants encouraged to create a joint stall in local market/s to increase market penetration. Participants would gain additional skills by helping the run the hub and working in the shopfront. Part of the profit from sales would be returned to the business to help offset costs. After 6 months we anticipate participants would have developed their own marketplace and would have reduced dependence on the hub for sales.

Participants entering the program would:
1. Complete a project plan outlining requirements and activities
2. Attend workshops at the hub to learn business basics and acquire required skills
3. Apply learnt knowledge and skills to develop a business plan
4. Produce developed product/s with assistance
5. Develop customer service skills at the Hub and at joint market stall, selling own and others product/s
6. Meet monitoring requirements and develop strategies to improve outcomes