Amidst the challenges we’ve faced in the first months of 2020, our Global Sisters team has found a way to grow and thrive under the conditions, fulfilling the vision to scale our services and reach more women than ever before.
After piloting operations across four Australian states and territories, we were already making steady progress on our digital transformation strategy since late 2019. However, the current crisis has provided an urgent reason and catalyst to accelerate our efforts.
Small businesses and casual workers have been hit especially hard by the economic effects of pandemic control measures. Single mothers, carers and older women are particularly at risk, and especially those in regional communities already impacted by drought and bushfires.
For women already facing significant barriers to sustainable employment – including disability, carer responsibilities, and issues with distance and transport – these conditions mean what was difficult before is now virtually impossible.
These are the women that Global Sisters is here to help. Unsurprisingly, demand for our support is skyrocketing, and we’ve had to rapidly consider how we can meet this demand.
And so, we’ve accelerated our plans to scale-up our work. Our response is centred on three pillars: digital transformation and delivery of our programs, a digital sales platform, and digital marketing.
First, all of Global Sisters’ popular education and coaching programs have been moved online. This means they’re more easily accessible to a larger number of women, right when and where they’re needed.
Importantly however, we’ve retained the critical element of facilitation by our expert team members, who are there to support participants every step of the way.
Second, the pop-up shops, retail storefronts and market stalls that many small businesses have relied upon in the past will not be feasible for a long time, if ever again. And so, to succeed in this new and still-changing environment, every business needs to be operating online, right now.
A professional online presence that is affordable, functional and sustainable is no longer optional, but essential. Global Sisters is making this happen by launching a new, dedicated, cause-driven marketplace for our Sisters as well as women supported by other not-for-profit organisations across Australia.
Simple, fast, facilitated on-boarding for businesses means every participant can get their business online and selling, quicker than ever before.
The third and final piece of the puzzle is making sure customers can find us. And so, Global Sisters will continue and expand the existing, successful ‘Back Her Brilliance’ national marketing and communication strategy.
This includes a comprehensive digital marketing strategy and a keen focus on storytelling, to reach and engage potential customers and drive traffic directly to the online marketplace.
Despite the chaos that has dominated the year so far, Global Sisters has adapted at pace and charted a clear path ahead, rationalising programs and re-directing resources to have the greatest possible impact.
And we’re already seeing a very positive response to these efforts – proving once again that we’re meeting an important need in the community.
Since the full suite of programs – which includes My Big Idea, Sister School, remote access to Incubate and Accelerate, as well as our COVID-19 response digiPIVOT – has been made available online, registrations have surged.