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Social Enterprise STREAT to Triple Impact

8 June 2016 at 3:27 pm
Ellie Cooper
Melbourne-based social enterprise STREAT has launched a crowdfunding campaign to finalise its new flagship site in a bid to help triple both its business operations and social impact.

Ellie Cooper | 8 June 2016 at 3:27 pm


Social Enterprise STREAT to Triple Impact
8 June 2016 at 3:27 pm

Melbourne-based social enterprise STREAT has launched a crowdfunding campaign to finalise its new flagship site in a bid to help triple both its business operations and social impact.

Bec Scott CEO of social enterprise STREAT

STREAT CEO Rebecca Scott

STREAT is a Not for Profit social enterprise, co-founded by CEO Rebecca Scott and Kate Barrelle, that uses its hospitality businesses to provide the training locations and the funds to run its youth programs – all to stop youth homelessness and disadvantage.

The new site, Home STREAT Home, is a 1,200 square metre site in Cromwell Street, Collingwood.

In its earlier life the 1880s manor had a fairly colourful history. Three years ago it was sold for $2.5 million to philanthropist Geoff Harris, co-founder of Flight Centre, who supports many youth causes.

He gifted the property to STREAT to use for the next 50 years at $5 per year.  

STREAT trainees “Geoff loved the way we were trying to solve youth disadvantage through running social enterprise businesses. As a businessman it just made sense to him,” Scott said

“And once we had the property, we got to work raising the $3.5 million needed to develop this historic site. We’ve gained amazing support from fellow Melburnians, but we’ve also had funding support from right around the country and even the UK and Denmark. It’s like we’ve had a global group hug.”

However, STREAT needs to raise a further $200,000 for the site to be fully operational.

On Wednesday they launched a crowdfunding campaign with a $100,000 target to help finish the Home STREAT Home site.

It’s not the businesses first foray into crowdfunding. Several years ago STREAT turned a $4,000 donation into $80,000, discussed in a new podcast series with Chuffed CEO Prashan Paramanathan, which helped launch a new cafe and their cookbook.

This new venture is expected to see STREAT go from a $3.5 million to a $10 million organisation, while helping many more vulnerable young people.

“Home STREAT Home is about tripling the number of young people we help. We’ll go from helping 120 per year at the moment to over 365 per year – one each day,” Scott said.

“And we’ll also triple the size of our business operations as we scale some existing businesses and also add a number of new businesses to our portfolio.

“We’ll be adding an artisan bakery, expanding our coffee roastery and catering company, we’ll be able to host onsite events and functions, and also be able to do wholesaling and retailing of products.

STREAT trainees

“All of this will help us reach complete financial sustainability in our inner Melbourne operations in the coming three years and prepare us for deeper scaling of our model in Melbourne.”

STREAT is currently 70 per cent self-sufficient from its seven businesses, with the other 30 per cent raised through philanthropy and other marketing projects.

For the first time this year STREAT has had waiting lists for its programs. Currently there are 4,500 to 5,000 young homeless youth in the 16 to 25 year age group around Melbourne and in the Greater Melbourne area, which Scott said was a driving force behind the venture.

She said the new programs, starting late July, would take a chunk out of those waiting lists, and the bakery, coffee roaster and cafe would provide different venues for young people to receive training and work experience.

“And not a moment too soon. We’ve got waiting lists for all our programs for most of this year – we’re absolutely bursting at the seams,” she said.

“Right now we’re knocking kids back, but our new home will enable us to open our doors and welcome them in.”  

Scott said creating a welcoming atmosphere for young people was at the heart of STREAT’s mission – even more so than work experience and a Certificate II in Hospitality.

She wants Home STREAT Home to feel like it’s a home away from home for young people. Of the 450 people they’ve helped, she said it’s rarely been the case that they’ve had somewhere safe where they’ve felt they belonged.

View the campaign here.

Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.

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