By Sarah Bartlett
Social enterprise café and caterer Kinfolk was awarded twice at the Melbourne Business Network’s Business 3000+ Awards ceremony in June.
Minister for Small Business Adem Somyurek presented the organisation with the Business 3000+ Award for Social Enterprise as well as the prestigious Business of the Year Award.
Kinfolk’s co-founder and CEO Jarrod Briffa spoke at the awards ceremony about the development of the social enterprise since its launch in 2010 and the pleasures that came from working with and learning from its volunteers.
Kinfolk was awarded Business of the Year in recognition for its efforts of making a social impact in Melbourne as well as its overall success as a commercial enterprise.
The judges, in particular looked at the recent development of Kinfolk, which has extended operations into event management and catering, with its four CBD locations hosting regular corporate workshops and private events. The social enterprise also distributes catering around the CBD from the well-known Donkey Wheel House, located on Bourke St.
In 2018, Kinfolk launched a new café site and evening function space called Sibling by Kinfolk in Carlton North. This location will provide another 60 training positions for the extensive volunteer waitlist.
Kinfolk aims to create an inclusive community, that counteracts social isolation through volunteer programs that concentrate on training, capacity building as well as social inclusion for people facing significant challenges. The training program sees the involvement of hundreds of participants each year. Types of challenges that the participants might typically face include physical and learning disabilities, mental health challenges, asylum seekers or people with a migrant background, people in transition from prison as well as people who have been experiencing long-term unemployment.
All profits are donated to the social enterprise’s two charity partners, The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and Cathy Freeman Foundation.
Co-founder and CEO Jarrod Briffa said that one of the intentions behind Kinfolk was to encourage “conscious consumerism.”
“The aim with Kinfolk was to positively promote conscious consumerism while creating more inclusive communities. We couldn’t be more humbled for our team, including our volunteers, for the recognition of both our social enterprise and business success,” Mr Briffa said.
Since Kinfolk’s launch in 2010, there have been over 700 community members that have volunteered in the hospitality-training program at Kinfolk. Many of these people have successfully secured paid employment as well as gaining confidence and friendships from the experience.