Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible?

Yes, if you are:

  • a woman aged 50 or over
  • an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • on Newstart allowance or equivalent (Cohort 1 only)
  • in social housing (Cohort 1 only)
  • limited in employment - either unemployed or underemployed
  • motivated and keen to work.

How much of my time will it take me?

We are looking for a minimum commitment of twelve months from you to complete this program. This could be between one to five days a week over the course of a year.

How will this project benefit me?

Long term benefits include:

  • increased self-confidence
  • increasing skills and opportunities for employment
  • less reliance on welfare
  • be a role model for other women and family members and following generations
  • develop social relationships and meet new people
  • contribute to the broader community.

Do I need to have business skills?

You do not need to have formal business skills but it is recommended you:

  • have basic organisational and/or administration skills, e.g. managing a household budget, being involved as part of a team, volunteer work, caring for others,
  • have basic literacy and numeracy skills, e.g. able to complete basic reporting paperwork as required for the program,
  • are motivated and keen to work.

Do I need to have a business idea?

No, it is not a requirement for you to have a business idea. We will provide some tried and tested business in boxes ideas for you and your group to start, however if you do have a business idea we can explore it with you.

Is it compulsory for me to work with other women in partnerships?

It is not compulsory to work with other women in a business. We would still like you to form support groups with other women. This is one of the key components of the program to help you build social relationships.

What happens if I cannot manage the business?

​The project team and mentors are committed to help you through the process and will be there to support you through the journey of starting and running your business. There will also be other support services that we can refer you to if need be.

What happens if there are conflicts between the partners/groups?

​The project team will encourage groups to identify and document how they resolve these types of issues as the business begins. If differences can’t be resolved, the project team and mentors will intervene and help the group. If the conflicts cannot be resolved, then we can work with the group on other solutions such as dissolving the partnership and restarting other businesses.

How will this affect my Centrelink benefits?

As every participant will have different circumstances/ situation, the project team can guide women to discuss with Centrelink.

Can we spend any profits we make?

The project team will assist the groups to develop business plans which will include consideration of how any profits will be re-invested and/or shared. As the project team need to assess the progress of each of the businesses, income and expenditure associated with the business will need to be reported each week.

What happens to the business at the end of the year?

After a year, the group can decide if they want to continue the business or whether they want to close it.

Confidentiality, ethics and consent

The project involves collecting identifiable data during the data collection stage, however only de-identified information will be shared with our government partners or in our publications, to maintain confidentiality of the process. Ethical Clearance at Griffith University has been obtained. Griffith University is committed to the highest ethical standards in the conduct of our research. Rather than just being an issue of regulatory compliance, research ethics and integrity are core issues for the design and conduct of high quality research.  The participation in the research project is completely voluntary for participants and they are free to withdraw from the study at any time. You will be asked to consent to sharing their Centrelink returns, their housing status, and the income and expenditure from the business weekly.

Will I be paid for participating?

No, you will not be paid for being part of the program, however the program does allow for small grants to be paid to cover costs of materials needed as part of starting your micro business as well as the chance to generate profit from your business.

Who are the participants?

The “Sisters” are women aged 50 or over who have had limited work exposure and are willing to work and become/remain independent. They will be those who are underemployed or unemployed and want to work to supplement their income. Cohort 1- Women 50 or over already in social housing Cohort 2- Women 50 or over who might be currently living in their own homes but are at risk of homelessness.

Sisters Project

(07) 3735 3798

Department of Business Strategy and Innovation, Griffith University

Room 1.55, Macrossan Building N16

170 Kessels Road

Nathan QLD 4111

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