Words with Heart.
Words With Heart is a social enterprise that empowers women and girls whilst creating profound global change. Selling stationery products that display positive and encouraging messages, each purchase contributes to the funding of female education in the developing world.
The founder of Words With Heart, Lauren Shuttleworth, was inspired to start the enterprise after volunteering at a school in Kenya, where she realised just how significant the lack of sustainable funding for women’s education really was. As Lauren was heading home to Australia, she stopped to buy a notebook from a store at the airport, only to find that her options were rather discouraging. One particular book stood out, with the cover message “Boys, heels, blogs – let’s get back to the basics” boldly on display.
“I was just really shocked that this was the kind of message that was being promoted to girls”, she says. “It was a university notebook, so I was just like, come on, women that are buying this or who this product is being marketed to are at university and doing so much more than worrying about boys, heels and blogs! So that kind of sparked my thinking about what’s happening in the stationery world of social enterprise, and is there a better way to do this”.
Words With Heart works alongside two charity partners, CARE Australia and One Girl, and has three primary impacts for social change: education, empowerment and creating environmentally responsible products.
- Each stationery product sold funds a specific number of education days for women and girls in the developing world.
- Each design includes a message of empowerment and equality for women and girls. Words With Heart believes that by placing messages on stationery products, they can act as mini ‘billboards’ in the classroom or workplace, spreading the messages even further.
- 100% post consumer recycled paper is used for the notebook and journal pages, and 100% recycled for the card covers. Each paper product is printed with vegie based inks, solar power and no harsh printing chemicals, and their pages use 63% less energy, 82% less solid waste and 58% less water compared to a ton of virgin wood pulp paper – saving 21 trees!
Lauren, who has a background in social enterprise and entrepreneurship, says that being a social enterprise, these three impacts are really the heart and soul of Words With Heart. A goal was set this year to fund a million education days by 2017, and Lauren feels confident that this is achievable. “We just want to fund as many education days as we can, as well as bring to light the cause of women’s and girls’ education, how important it is to empower women and girls through education. So that’s what we really hope to achieve.”
To view their products and learn more about Words With Heart, visit wordswithheart.com.
The above article by Catherine Torbey first published on impactsocialenterprise.com in 2015.