Category: Beyond Banking
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Sub category: Dreamstarter
13 January 2015

From job seeker to ‘pop-preneur’: helping young people build a business

Our Dreamstarter Crystal Hunter was inspired to set up her social enterprise – Social Pops – after she found herself unemployed and disillusioned with the traditional employment system. Crystal now aims to empower other young people to get ahead.

Crystal, can you give us some of the background on social pops? 

I had been thinking about this idea to produce all-natural, uniquely flavoured ice pops (ice blocks) using local ingredients for a few years but it never felt like the right time. Then my partner and I relocated to Brisbane in 2014 and I found myself struggling to land a decent job. I had the right attitude but employers wanted more experience. The trouble was, to get the experience they were looking for, I needed to have done the job… but I couldn’t get the job without the experience.

For months I felt helpless and couldn’t stop thinking about the many young people stuck in the same situation. When the warm Queensland temperatures continued into winter, the pop idea resurfaced and evolved into Social Pops – a sustainable social enterprise producing gourmet ice pops to make entrepreneurship attainable for struggling youth through micro franchising (mobile ice-pop bikes).

How does Social Pops help to overcome barriers to employment? 

We are inspired by millennials, not put off by a lack of experience. We’ve never met a bunch of people more socially aware and hungry for change and success and we want to help empower this generation to become changemakers.

We plan to offer affordable Social Pops micro-franchises to unemployed or underemployed young people who are interested in business ownership. We will run a 12-24 month pop-preneur program to help these people get ahead through learning on the job. It will offer young people a way of gaining experience while they’re working – they’re actually learning by doing whilst receiving support and training to help them on the right path.

What’s on the agenda for 2015? 

We’re aiming to launch our first pop bike onto the streets of Brisbane in March bringing Social Pops to the public!

If you had had to give a piece of advice to a 10 year old child, what would it be?

Dream about your ideal self. Imagine beyond what people say is possible. Our world changes one crazy idea at a time.

ING DIRECT’s Dreamstarter initiative provides funding support to selected StartSomeGood campaigns and helps Australia’s most inspiring go-getters make a positive change in Australian communities. To find out more about the program visit ingdirect.com.au/dreamstarter

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