Where the idea started

In Jan 2021, in conjunction with the Inner West Community Foundation (IWCF) and the West Footscray Traders association, Athena and Andy rolled out The Help Desk that set out to find the critical issues affecting people in small business.

The key findings were that isolation, and anxiety, were major contributors to peoples worries, which directly affected their ability to do their best work. Without the regular contact with peers, business owners had become overwhelmed with the rapidly changing environment.

Footscray street art, in the height of covid lockdowns in Melbourne
Footscray street art during Melbourne restrictions

The Business Club pilot program

In mid 2021 during lockdown they created the ‘Business Club’ pilot program funded by IWCF. Where people gathered online to discuss current challenges, and to begin reconnecting. These meetups proved the theory, that peer level conversation normalise the business challenges, and helped solve immediate issues.

We had laughs, tears, and a swag of wins which stemmed from new connections within the group.

It was a hit.

Not only that, but it has led to profitable business outcomes and collaborations for people between businesses and not for profits.

Where to next

It seems obvious, that better mental health, means better business and economic development of the community. Yet, it is a challenge to find groups that do just that with a business led focus.

So Ground Level, was created as an In Other Good News and Tech Lever initiative, by Andy and Athena in 2022 with the simple premise that;

If you have a healthy headspace, you can make better decisions in business and in life.

We are building towards becoming an independent social enterprise to support positive mental health outcomes and economic development of communities by establishing hyperlocal hubs nation-wide.