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Our 2022 Flexi-Impact Members Share Their Experiences

Applications for our 2022 Flexi-Impact Program are now open, so we sat down with a few of this year's recipients to find out more about their time as Flexi-Impact members.

Hub Australia’s Flexi-Impact Program offers a number of memberships each year to people part of a business working to make a positive difference.

In 2022, we supported 62 purpose-driven businesses around Australia. Over the year, they’ve had the chance to attend events, use our amenities, get exclusive perks, and have something as simple – and necessary – as a desk to work from to grow their business.

Applications for our 2023 cohort are now open, welcoming businesses who identify as non-profits, social enterprises, or B-Corporations, and actively encouraging applications from First Nations-led, women-led, and arts-based businesses.

To help you learn more about the program, we spoke to a few of our 2022 recipients to hear about their experiences over the year as Hub members.

Green + Simple – Jenny Ringland, Co-Founder

Two women standing on the rocks at a beachhe r

Tell us a bit about Green + Simple – what’s your mission?

Green + Simple is an online publication and content creation platform, heroing trusted journalism from a diverse range of experts, change makers, and storytellers to help Australians live their best sustainable lives. 

How did you hear about the Flexi-Impact Program?

A friend who works out of Hub Hyde Park told me about the program, and recommended me.

What are your favourite things about being part of the Hub community?

I started my media company in 2018 just after having my third baby, so I’ve worked from home that entire time before it was even a thing to work from home. I can’t tell you how inspired, productive, and happy I feel to be in an office environment, to be giving my work the respect it needs. I also love the Monday morning emails sharing news of new members and perks.

What were your biggest achievements in 2022?

I think becoming a part of the Flexi-Impact Program was definitely a highlight at the start of the year: no more dining room table Zoom calls. From a business perspective, we signed some really great clients this year. I also became the sustainability ambassador for Nissan Australia and I now drive their electric vehicle, the LEAF+. 

Do you have any tips or words of wisdom for people working in other purpose-driven businesses?

Don’t give up! We’re in this space because we’re passionate about making a difference, and sometimes it can feel overwhelming. There have been so many times I’ve wanted to give up but I think remembering the bigger picture helps move things along. I recently read Peaks and Valleys by Spencer Johnson and it had a pretty profound impact on me, I really recommend reading it. It’s a simple story about the peaks and valleys of life, of which there are many. How quickly we can recover from setbacks, or valleys, is what makes us successful.

 

Diversity Arts Australia – Lena Nahlous, CEO and Executive Producer

group of people listening to a lecture

Tell us a bit about Diversity Arts Australia – what’s your mission?

Diversity Arts Australia is the peak national organisation promoting racial equity across the arts, cultural, and screen sectors. Working within an ethnocultural and migrant context, we seek to build a creative sector that reflects Australia’s true cultural diversity because we believe creative expression is a fundamental human right that strengthens and connects communities.

How did you hear about the Flexi-Impact Program?

I was told about it by a colleague who had previously been a recipient through another non-profit they worked for. They were impressed with the program and the Hub location they were based from, and highly recommended it.

What are your favourite things about being part of the Hub community?

I have a few favourite things about being part of the Hub community. The feeling of connection and not being alone is particularly important, especially after several Covid lockdowns. Nothing is more motivating than being around other people working, making unexpected connections, and being in a gorgeous workspace with good coffee.

Our base is in Western Sydney, but most other organisations like ours and our funding bodies are based in Sydney’s CBD. We regularly welcome colleagues and contractors travelling in from other states, and I’ve been able to organise for them to meet with us at Hub Wynyard. We also travel interstate regularly, so accessing Hub locations in other states is incredibly important when you need a good working and meeting place. 

Spaces like Hub, dedicated to connection and creativity, are invaluable for creative teams coming from a traditional office environment. It give us the flexibility to gather and feel energised. 

I also really enjoy Hub’s free events and networking opportunities.

What were your biggest achievements in 2022?

This was a significant year for Diversity Arts. We launched the remaining topic areas of the Creative Equity Toolkit, an incredible website that supports the cultural sector in its diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism goals. Since launching, we’ve had significant growth in newsletter signups, subscribers, and website engagement.

We also launched a new season of our Colour Cycle podcast, which has been shortlisted this month as a finalist in the Australian Podcast Awards. Our podcast talks to established and emerging creative practitioners to share inspiration and practical strategies with the sector. Our latest season was produced by participants in our StoryCasters program, a training hub for young, culturally diverse citizen journalists and content creators from Western Sydney.

Do you have any tips or words of wisdom for people working in other purpose-driven businesses?

To have the stamina and avoid burnout, we need to pace ourselves and remind ourselves regularly that we’re in it for the long haul. In small-to-medium-sized organisations, this is particularly important after the advent of Covid, where we’re rethinking how we work and many people have dealt with personal crises and health issues. The work we do isn’t going away in a hurry, and it’s important to regularly take stock of all the progress you’ve achieved so far – slowly nurture that progress, and build upon it.

 

Rainbow Families – Ashley Scott, Executive Officer

A group of people standing together with pink tshirts on

Tell us a bit about Rainbow Families – what’s your mission?

Rainbow Families is the peak organisation supporting LGBTQ+ parents and their children. As a charity, Rainbow Families works to reduce discrimination and disadvantage faced by children of LGBTQ+ parents so they can thrive and shine. 

How did you hear about the Flexi-Impact Program?

I heard about the Flexi-Impact Program through a grant application I put in with another organisation. Although we did not receive the grant we hoped for, the silver lining was access to Hub for a year which has been fantastic.

What are your favourite things about being part of the Hub community?

Being part of the Hub community has been amazing for me. Rainbow Families is a small, volunteer-powered charity. I am the only employee, which can be isolating at times. Coming into a busy office full of people is so important for my enjoyment at work. I’ve also enjoyed the flexibility of the workspace: standing desks, communal desks, and the phone booths for meetings.

What were your biggest achievements in 2022?

I’m very proud of our Youth Council who have developed a resource for young people, by young people. We’ve worked with a group of teenagers with LGBTQ+ parents to collect stories about what it’s like growing up in a ‘rainbow family’. The resource includes tips and ideas for young people in our community, as well as some activities for other rainbow families. There’s also a section full of dad jokes, from the kids who have two dads. 

Do you have any tips or words of wisdom for people working in other purpose-driven businesses?

Working in a purpose-driven business is incredibly dynamic. Every day is different and rewarding. At times resources can be limited, so it’s heartwarming to see the support of organisations like Hub Australia.

 

BFG Loans – Samuel Philipos, Principal Mortgage Broker and Managing Director

Tell us a bit about BFG Loans – what’s your mission?

Benevolence Financial Group (BFG) is Australia’s leading mortgage brokerage committed to supporting homebuyers achieve their home ownership dreams and get better rates. BFG is also a social enterprise mortgage brokerage firm specialising in ‘home loans with a purpose’, where part of our profits are invested to build affordable housing for families in need.

How did you hear about the Flexi-Impact Program?

A friend mentioned Hub and the Flexi-Impact Program to me, so I took a chance and applied. 

What are your favourite things about being part of the Hub community?

My favourite things about being part of Hub is definitely anything to do with the community. Hub hosts great events like Breakfast Club and Wine Down, which is the perfect opportunity to network. 

What were your biggest achievements in 2022?

In 2022 BFG Loans had a significant client growth, which we achieved partly through new key players in our team joining us. We’ve also taken part in a number of strategic partnerships that are aligned with our mission. 

Do you have any tips or words of wisdom for people working in other purpose-driven businesses?

People in your team matter. Make sure you get the right aligned, talented, and engaged people – that can make or break things.

 

Interested in applying for the 2023 cohort of our Flexi-Impact Program? Applications are now open.