Social Enterprise Helping Women Get Jobs

Fitted for Work is a unique social enterprise launched by Jane Hunt in 2005 in Australia. Hunt saw the need for a more personalized approach to helping disadvantaged women return to the workforce.

Fitted for Work offers a lot more than just mainstream job services for women. It trains them for job interviews and even helps them dress up professional using second-hand clothing. Hunt has also recently launched an online store that is a one-of-a-kind boutique run by a social enterprise.

Hunt was the winner of the Victorian Nokia Business Innovation Award 2011 at the Testra Business Women’s Awards. She received this coveted recognition for impacting the lives of more than 6,000 women across the country since the launch of her organization in 2005.

Hunt says that the spirit of innovation is an integral part of Fitted for Work. The spirit is seen in its services it provides to its customers, the Dare-to-Wear campaign it runs annually, and now at its online store – Dear Gladys. Innovation at Fitted for Work means taking a new perspective on issues, striving to do better each time, and having the resilience to bounce back whenever mistakes happen.

Fitted for Work treats disadvantaged women as the most valuable women in the world. The boutique helps transform the physical appearance of these women and boost their confidence to gain the jobs they deserve. At the same time, it also provides a comprehensive mentoring and transition-to-work program. It also helps women who are leaving prison to re-integrate with the mainstream of the society.

Hunt says about her new online store, “Retail’s changing, and we realised we had an opportunity to be at the forefront of the not-for-profit sector by embracing this trend. So, based on our bricks-and-mortar Dear Gladys store in Northcote, Victoria, we’ve launched an online store.

“It’s the first vintage boutique of its kind run online by a not-for-profit and we are proud that other for-profit businesses look at our store as setting a benchmark. Over the next 12 months we’ll be focused on growing this business as well as building an online community that supports women looking to get back into the workforce.”

Hunt encourages women to test and challenge themselves, and she believes that the best in a woman comes out when she is faced with tough circumstances.

Source: Dynamic Business

Photo Credit: Marinela