Staying True to Your Social Mission

Social startups often suffer from mission drift - as they race to attain financial sustainability, their plans for social impact often shift or even worse, take a back seat. Why does this happen? How can you prevent it? This master class will teach you how to stick to your guns for the benefit of the people you want to help. Grace McQuilten, founder of The Social Studio, has built a not-for-profit social enterprise committed to deep localized social impact - improving the employment and education opportunities of Australian migrants and refugees using fashion and design. Hear Grace's story and advice on how to optimise social impact for your venture.

Grace McQuilten is Public Officer and Founder of The Social Studio. The idea for the Social Studio was seeded by Grace, an art historian, curator, academic and social enterprise expert. Grace stepped down as the founding CEO of the Social Studio to take up an academic post in 2014. She is presently a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow at RMIT University. Grace completed her doctorate in art history at the University of Melbourne in 2008, researching connections between art, design and consumer culture. She is advisor to The Social Outfit (Sydney) and Twich Women’s Sewing Collective (Dandenong), a board member for the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand and a co-founder of The Welcome Committee Inc.

The Social Studio is a not for profit social enterprise dedicated to improving the lives of young Australians who come from a refugee or migrant background and who may have experienced barriers to accessing education and/or securing employment. They use the vehicle of a fashion and hospitality business – including a clothing label, retail shop, digital printing studio, café and a catering business – to create meaningful social change. The Social Studio provides TAFE level training, work experience, volunteer opportunities and employment in fashion, manufacturing, retail and hospitality, creating imperative education and employment opportunities and pathways.