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Social Change Champion: Moira Deslandes

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Moira Deslandes has worked from the kitchen table as a direct service social worker through to the cabinet table as a Chief of Staff to a Minister. She has designed and implemented community development strategies and activities in Mozambique, South Africa, Ghana, UK, Canada, USA, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Kazakhstan and Indonesia. Moira is Director at MDC and in 2017, founded Chooks SA after becoming dissatisfied with the lack of gender equity in investment and contribution to women led start ups, entrepreneurs and social enterprises. She blogs regularly for Pro Bono News and StartSomeGood. We sat down with Moira to understand her personal motivations for systems change and thoughts on the future of social entrepreneurship in Australia.


What is your social enterprise elevator pitch?

Do you want to contribute to a for purpose and for profit economy? Did you know women-led tech start ups have a 35% higher ROI when venture backed and generate 12% higher revenue than male-run start-ups? Did you know women entrepreneurs bring in 20% more revenue with 50% less money invested? Once I found these facts, I thought it was time to do some systems thinking and start turning the curve on these facts – not just for the compelling economic reasons, but also for the cultural ones. Let’s have innovation and enterprise for purpose and for profit with at least 50% coming from and going to women.

What are your biggest personal and/or professional challenges as a social entrepreneur in Australia?

The immaturity of the ecosystem brings both challenges and opportunities.

If you were to start over, is there anything you would do differently?

Perhaps in a few years time I will be able to reflect on that question more meaningfully, right now though I am happy with the humble beginnings.

Where do you see the future of social enterprise in Australia?

The influence of for purpose and profit coming from social enterprise will become the norm. The rise of blended and shared value collaborations, B Corps and co-operatives will be influential and lead Australia into new spaces for social, environmental, political and cultural change …. to say nothing of the economic changes.

What appeals most to you about Social Change Central?

A single platform and its potential to become a national intermediary for social enterprise movement in Australia.

The Social Change Central changemaker community is growing at a fast rate. How can our members learn more about you and help support your organisation (e.g. are you looking for funding, PR, marketing support, volunteers, interns)?

At the moment seeking funding to undertake some research to get baseline data. Open to volunteers and probono support in the area of research and building some small pieces of collateral (eg designing fast fact infographics to be used in advocacy).

And finally, what would you do if you found a lottery ticket that ended up winning $10 million?

Create a Foundation to attract more funds to be deployed to innovative and enterprising for purpose and profit businesses. And take a holiday to Italy.


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