Money For Jam update
December 2018 saw the completion of Per Capita’s flagship social innovation project Money For Jam. Generously funded by Equity Trustees and Gandel Philanthropy, with further support from Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Melbourne Women’s Fund and Reichstein Foundation, Money For Jam engaged with more than 40 older women to empower them to earn through microenterprise.
Working with Women’s Housing Ltd, Fitted for Work and En Masse, we delivered both class-based learning and a smartphone app program, supporting women to learn small business skills and tools to grow their confidence, using positive psychology, mentoring and peer support networks.
Evaluation from Brotherhood of St Laurance shows 54% of women who completed the year-long program had either started a microenterprise, or are currently developing a microenterprise. Ideas for businesses reflect the diverse skills and interests of older women. They range from organic cleaning products, to a home tutoring service for school-age children, and even trauma therapy.
The program is designed to help women at different stages of business knowhow and the pilot attracted interest from across Australia, although the delivery was Melbourne-focused. MFJ has a dual emphasis on increasing older women’s earning capacity but also their psychological wellbeing. Co-designed with older women, the MFJ model seeks to address low self-esteem and business confidence in older women, as well as the significant financial disadvantage many older women face.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence evaluation recorded over half of the participants involved the pilot were in receipt of disability support pension, with a number of other on welfare payments or casualised, insecure employment.
While it was too early to see significant improvements in income for women, BSL recorded substantial improvements in participants’ psychological wellbeing.
With support from the Reichstein Foundation, participants in the program made their own digital story about Money For Jam: you can see their short video to the right. Into the future, Per Capita hopes to progress the suggestion of one of our younger participants, to build a subscriber/member-based Money For Jam. Continuing our smartphone app with En Masse and in partnership with Council of Single Mothers and their Children, we hope to scale Money For Jam into a successful membership-based model, supporting single mothers in additional to older women.