Woman in Innovation: Cindy Mitchell
"Don't over think it. Just start."

Each Wednesday we interview women in our community about innovation and what drives them to make a difference in their industries everyday!

What are you working on?
All things social enterprise! We’ve just launched our social enterprise accelerator program for 2018. The accelerator program allows me to focus on a cohort of ventures over several months. I’m also administering a small grant program to build the capacity of social entrepreneurs in the Canberra Region.

I’ve always got a handful of other strategic engagements with companies and community organisations looking at how to reduce their reliance on grants and philanthropy through the development of sustainable business models.

Oh, and I’m also starting BPhil at UC this year. I’m interested in the ways that entrepreneurs from ethnic minority communities work to overcome institutional racism.

Why is innovation important to you?
The days of relying entirely on a well-funded social welfare state are over. The only way we are going to solve the wicked problems facing our nation, like Indigenous life expectancy and economic participation, the inclusion of people with disabilities, including psych-social disability, poverty, food security is through innovation.

It’s not just ‘important to me,’ it’s my central mission!

What drives you to make a difference?
I’m a social entrepreneur! I believe I have a moral responsibility to use my skills and talents to affect change in the lives of people who have not been afforded the advantages in life that I have.

Do you have any advice for getting more women into the innovation ecosystem?
Don’t over think it. Just start.

When I launched No Sweat Fashions (my first social enterprise), I had a demanding full-time job, community commitments, a new marriage and a new baby.

If I had thought about it for too long, I never would have started!


Make a connection

Know someone who should be featured?