Swinburne’s Business Without Borders (BWB) team is helping the Swinburne Young Mums program in their development of a micro business, Snuggle Box.
Working with Rotary Yarra Bend and the community, the BWB team has collected sewing machines, overlockers and fabrics to help the young mums learn how to sew.
BWB has also partnered with Snuggle Box to develop ‘Baby Welcome Boxes’. These boxes provide information about safe sleeping and other essential knowledge for young mums, with the box itself serving as a cot.
The Baby Welcome Box project has been developed by a team of entrepreneurial Swinburne students who were inspired by a regular giving initiative from the Finnish government, whereby small portable cots are distributed to all new mums.
Swinburne Young Mums program director Louise Schilling says the girls involved in Snuggle Box are taught skills that will set them up for getting jobs in the future.
“The girls learn leadership, confidence, time management, teamwork, budgeting and other real life skills,” says Ms Schilling.
“They’re also given the chance to take on roles within Snuggle Box that suit their skillset, including one young mum who has designed the logo for the micro business.”
Having previously worked with the Swinburne Young Mums program, BWB founder Dominique Elliot was eager to collaborate with them again on the Baby Welcome Boxes.
“As a young mum myself, I know how hard it is to balance family, education and work. We pay the girls to make bedding for the boxes so they can earn their own income.” says Ms Elliot.
“Some boxes have already been distributed through a referral process but when we have all of our funding in place the plan is to distribute through hospitals and health centres for our young mums.”
BWB and the Young Mums program are also supporting indigenous women beginning motherhood, with Ms Elliot aiming to distribute boxes to remote communities in northern Australia during an upcoming trip through the Commonwealth Bank’s Women in Focus program.
About Swinburne Young Mums program
The Young Mums program began in Swinburne in 2007 and provides a supportive environment where young mothers can attend Swinburne with their newborns to complete their Year 12 VCAL certificate.
About Business Without Borders
Business Without Borders is a social impact organisation managed by university students who donate their time and skills to assist the community both locally and globally.