August 13, 2015
Melbourne City Mission’s latest social enterprise, CQ Cultural Consulting (CQ), has joined Social Traders’ Social Investment Portfolio.
Launched in April 2015, CQ offers cross cultural training and consulting services to corporate, government and community organisations in working with staff and clients from culturally diverse backgrounds to create culturally competent and supportive workplaces.
CQ’s primary social purpose is to provide employment and training opportunities for their team, which consists of young aspiring leaders from diverse backgrounds including migrants and refugees. The culturally diverse background of the CQ team also enables them to provide first-hand authentic experience in the service they offer.
To date, CQ has already delivered 22 workshops to approximately 250 participants, attracting some major clients including a $20k contract with Hobsons Bay Council and a $25k grant from City of Melbourne to develop a film with business and thought-leaders on the benefits of diversity.
CQ is forecast to break even from year three of operation onwards. From that point on, profits will be channelled into the Western Young People’s Independent Network (WYPIN) which offers capacity building and leadership training to migrant and refugee youth in Melbourne’s West to become leaders and advocates against racism and discrimination.
CQ was an idea developed by WYPIN through Social Traders Crunch program in 2013. It was born from the disconnect WYPIN saw in the market between diversity training and the people delivering it, who are almost never from diverse backgrounds.
Their solution was to create CQ to match the cultural expertise and incredible energy within WYPIN to the very real need in business to understand and work with diversity and to share the experience of refugee groups to maximise inclusion and minimise discrimination within diverse groups.
“Through the [Crunch] program we distilled our idea and developed a solid and refined business plan. We also secured a partially repayable investment from Social Traders. This made it much easier to apply for and secure other funding from the Westpac Foundation and the Scanlon Foundation, because the hard work around business planning was already complete.” CQ Manager, Gemma O’Brien.
Social Traders’ Head of Investment and Advisory, Libby Ward-Christie finalised the agreement for CQ to join the Social Traders Portfolio in May 2015.
“We are thrilled that CQ has now launched and formally joined our Social Investment Portfolio, through which they will receive capital and our support for the next few years. Melbourne City Mission’s development of CQ is a lesson in rigorous planning and attention to detail; we have been working with them for over two years now to get the model right and the success, even at this very early stage, is testament to hard work, determination and collaboration.”
CQ join ten other high calibre social enterprise organisations currently in Social Traders’ Social Investment Portfolio.