Our people

Luz Restrepo, Co-Founder

Luz Restrepo, Co-Founder

‘Migrant women are an investment. We generate great returns if society provides opportunities to learn how to navigate the Australian system and culture’.

In 2010, at the age of 45, Luz arrived in Australia seeking political asylum. With little English, no Australian connections, and very little money, she reinvented herself as a leader and social entrepreneur.

In 2013, Luz established SisterWorks, a charity now supporting thousands of migrant and refugee women from more than 70 countries. Her model of supporting the social inclusion of migrant women attracted the attention of UN Women, who are now working with SisterWorks and, with their support, Luz also designed an e-learning platform. As CEO, she evolved the organisation from functioning on a zero-income, volunteer basis to one thriving with a staff of 20 and a $1.4M annual turnover by May 2020. With SisterWorks in a strong financial and leadership space, Luz felt that the time was right to take her ideas to the next level, and so resigned from her role as CEO.

In June 2020, Luz partnered with Corinne Kemp to co-found Migrant Women in Business (MWiB), an Australia-wide social enterprise whose purpose is to enable the sustainable growth of migrant women’s businesses. Commencing as the Covid pandemic first began to alter daily life in every way, Luz and Corinne very rapidly identified the need for inclusive and accessible online networking activities and digital tools for migrant women entrepreneurs with varying levels of English and technological literacy, differing access to business opportunities and, initially, a limited understanding of Australian business culture.

MWiB currently works for and with over 80 businesswomen with migrant and refugee backgrounds, providing commercial opportunities via the Made by Many Hands online marketplace platform, and hands-on support and guidance via our network of small business experts, Made by Many Minds.

As most of MWiB’s services are online, Luz has the privilege of working from home, which she is now delighted to call Maldon, in regional Victoria. Luz has been inspired by this move to start working on how to connect her skills with the social and economic development of the area … watch this space!

luz@mwib.com.au

MWiB on LinkedIn

Made by Many Hands

Made by Many Minds