Taylor and Jageurs met while they were both studying entrepreneurship at Swinburne University, bonding over their concern about the prevalence of unhealthy foods in school fundraisers.
They came up with the concept of kits for growing herbs and vegetables, offering schools and other fundraising groups a healthier alternative to sugar-packed products.
Get daily business news.
The latest stories, funding information, and expert advice. Free to sign up.
They launched the business in 2009 and have grown to six product lines, helping more than 700 schools and groups across Australia raise almost $1 million to support their communities.
“In a time of increasing obesity, environmental degradation and increasing concern about the health of people and the planet, Living Fundraisers has created a solution that directly targets and addresses these concerns,” Taylor says.
“Schools, children’s centres and groups are central to communities, and play a significant role in shaping the present and the future.”
“By providing these pivotal groups with products that send a healthy, green message and make it easy for them to raise much-needed funds to continue their work, Living Fundraisers works to build a healthier, more sustainable community.”
According to Taylor, the most challenging part of starting the business was managing cashflow, but she and Jageurs learnt how to juggle suppliers, stay on top of debtors and watch every dollar.
“Watching the business grow and thrive has been exhilarating. Knowing we are making a difference through what we do is the most rewarding aspect,” she says.
“We designed the business to maximise its social impact through everything we do – we called it ‘layered giving’.”
“Our manufacturing and warehousing is done in partnership with Paramount Workforce, a community organisation that supports people with disabilities.”
“We also partner with key charities and provide a percentage of revenue to support the work of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, the Happy School in Cambodia and Greening Australia.”