Kim Pearce – co-founder of The Possibility Project

Kim is a former high school Economics teacher who had a mid-class epiphany that the subject was based entirely on a mindset of ‘scarcity’ – resources are limited, needs and wants are unlimited!

And that was never going to help solve the problems of our world so she decided to go out and find some innovative solutions for herself (after she finished the lesson of course). Kim (and her school mum mate, Kath) established The Possibility Project, which delivers social justice solutions through the principles of social entrepreneurship.

Kim was opened to a powerful mindset of ‘possibility’ through her collaboration that helps build social enterprises with humans who live below poverty line in India – she passionately shares this ‘entrepreneurial’ mindset and the products it ‘materialises’ with various communities back home.

website facebook youtube

 

We do not accept something as simple as ‘time and money’ from stopping us from doing what we love.

Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?

Social justice is the ability people have to ‘realise’ their potential, and the greatest block to potential is thinking you (or we) do not have the resources it takes to get what we want or need – whether the problem concerns very poor human beings denied access to food and water, or very affluent people experiencing mental health issues. We need to start with the belief that we do have what it takes to solve our problems!

Our presentations and our engagements tell the inspirational ‘stories’ of how to do this. So why did we take the plunge? The simple answer is – Why Not? Our website is full of wonderful stories and ideas of how to start creating something with ‘nothing’ more than what you already have.

Can you please explain your business model?

Being social entrepreneurs, we have to see possibility where others may not. We initially leveraged our enterprise without spending an additional cent from what we ordinarily gave to ‘charity’ and we started to build from that.

We have four core attitudes that govern every engagement of ours and these have been extremely creative. One of the central tenants is ‘use the resources you have’. I have been in the educational field my whole career and Kath is a designer/stylist, we have put our gifts together to create a range of social products under the name of slumwear108 and sell them through school and community engagements. We also do motivational talks for the corporate sector.

Just as important to making money, is the enormous amount of worth and well-being we have created for ourselves and many others, and this in itself has led to many people collaborating with us to build our enterprise, both at home and in Jaipur.

What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months?

We are thrilled that we have just facilitated the purchase of a sanitary pad machine, which is a separate social enterprise, and this will be part of a transformational sanitation program for thousands in Jaipur. We call it our HE-WITH-SHE program as men and boys are an integral part of the program too.

We also have plans to outfit 9 new classrooms which will serve families in 10 surrounding villages. This was the ‘classroom’ I always dreamed of being a part of!

How do you make ideas happen?

With a simple belief that Anything is Possible. Why not?

What does your typical day look like?

Kath has three children and I have four, so making school lunches is pretty much how it always starts! Then there is nothing typical. We move between communities that live below poverty line to very affluent mothers groups. We have presented to bankers, lawyers, doctors and primary school kids.

On one day we may be designing a new product, working on a new talk or visiting a bee farmer for inspiration!

We term our office the ‘liminal space’ – a threshold of possibility, where truly anything can happen. We love this so much.

What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?

We honestly do not experience challenges, we often joke that we are a couple of middle aged mums doing what we love.

It has never been easier or cheaper to start a business; we built our own website (which is currently being overhauled), we leveraged worth that we had already created (by this we mean nurturing our lovely kids, that now support us all the way, including doing our artwork!), we have asked people for advice and support.

We love the saying – “when people say ‘no’, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it simply means you can’t do it with them!”. We do not accept something as simple as ‘time and money’ from stopping us from doing what we love.

What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?

“People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things”.

What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry at the moment?

In Australia?

OzHarvest

WakeUp Project

The Thankyou movement

And internationally?

I-India NGO of course.

TED: Ideas worth sharing

StartSomeGood

What role do you think business can play in affecting social change?

Entrepreneurs have the greatest capacity to change our world – so much more than business people. I am a complete believer in both the market as a force for positive change and commercial unity (community!) – within an environment of creating win-wins for all.

I am not a huge supporter of the old charity paradigm – social enterprise has far more potential to create sustainable change, especialy when delivered through the power of a creative community.

Speaking of affecting social change, is there a particular charity you’d like our readers to support?

I-India Project Australia 

Name 3 websites you would recommend to our readers.

Bored Panda: http://www.boredpanda.com/

Dumbo Feather: http://www.dumbofeather.com/

Ted: http://www.ted.com/

Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?

We are always open for opportunities to deliver our inspirational talks and sell our slumwear108 products created by our phenomenal team in Jaipur.

We encourage people to navigate around our website and contact us if anything resonates or they have an idea for us.

We love to help guide schools and organisations into creating innovative social justice events – so yes, we are always looking for partners. Thank you.

What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?

Breakfast in Jaipur before a day at our social enterprise, or The Butcher’s Block in Wahroonga is equally sensational!

 

Learn from over 100 Australians making ideas happen.

 

More from The Social Deck

James Downing – founder of JellyChip

  James is a people-smart visionary who wants to see his social...
Read More