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Social Change Champion: Leanne Butterworth

Leanne Butterworth is a mother of two, Rowan (8) and Zara (6), has a degree in Exercise Physiology and a Graduate Certificate in Business (Nonprofit and Philanthropy Studies). She is a George Alexander Foundation Scholar, won the 2018 QUT Entrepreneurship UberCamp award and was invited to showcase LOSE YOUR MIND to His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York. She is also a member of the 10th Impact Academy Social Enterprise Accelerator. Most people think they know what mental illness IS, but Leanne decided to give people the experience of what mental illness is LIKE. We sat down with Leanne to learn a little more about how she’s harnessing technology to tackle mental illness stigma.

What is your social enterprise elevator pitch?

LOSE YOUR MIND aims to reduce the stigma of mental illness using fully immersive Virtual Reality experiences combined with mental health literacy workshops.

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

Explaining what I do given that it is new technology which people don’t understand the need for. Being able to communicate the need. Being able to ‘close the deal’ when people show interest. Introductions. Living with no income while I work towards something that I know makes an impact and has potential.

What’s the best piece of advice you have received so far since starting your own social enterprise?

Believe in yourself and the impact that you are making.

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

I’m not sure. Be braver earlier.

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

With Leanne Kemp as Chief Entrepreneur I see more startups and social enterprises being given opportunities that perhaps were reserved for more traditional / experienced companies.

What appeals to you most about Social Change Central?

Networking and learning. I haven’t explored it yet. I liked the personal invitation and the interest and reinforcement that what I am doing has merit.

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?

I’m always happy to let people try the VR experience to get them excited by it. I’m not ready to employ staff yet but I need introductions to partner organisations. Volunteers / interns are always welcome.

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

Not much would change really. I would build LOSE YOUR MIND so I can offer it for free. I’d take my kids travelling. I’d start a foundation that offers support / philanthropy to social enterprises. I’d go on a yoga retreat for a week. Having no money is exhausting physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally.

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Jay Boolkin
Jay Boolkin

I'm passionate about positive social change and the power of social entrepreneurship to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems. I believe that for-purpose business models can become part of the mainstream and I am enthusiastic about advocating for business models that are genuinely built around a social or environmental mission.

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