Thursday, 30 November 2023
Fraser Electorate: Casa Bonita
I rise to acknowledge the work of Liliana Bravo and the great partnership that her social enterprise and her social enterprise empowerment hub have with Victoria University and Maribyrnong City Council. Casa Bonita is a social enterprise and women's empowerment hub that was formed several years ago and works with migrant women to facilitate their empowerment and the growth of emerging businesses.
There are three prongs to Casa Bonita. Firstly, it is a storefront that allows Latin American and Indigenous artisans to offer their products to the local community in Victoria that I live in.
It also offers empowerment and business development opportunities to migrants and international students, and it holds socially conscious events. In addition, Casa Bonita is a wonderful reflection of partnerships. I was at an event just last week, and what was clear from that event was the depth of partnerships that Casa Bonita has developed with Victoria University and Maribyrnong City Council. Victoria University has provided a space that Casa Bonita is going to be able to operate in and move into from its Seddon shopfront that it has worked in for several years. Already that space is a vibrant space full of life and colour. In fact, on the day that I attended last week, it was also full of music and dancing, and I was actually dragged into one of the dances, but fortunately that wasn't captured on any video equipment as far as I'm aware.
I also want to talk about another aspect of what Casa Bonita offers. It is about small business, it is about migrant small business and it is about social enterprise. There are around 620,000 migrant owned businesses around this country. A recent report found that they offer employment opportunities for over 1.4 million people. That is remarkable. As a migrant myself, I know of many small businesses that have been created by migrants and that offer employment opportunities and entrepreneurial outlets for migrant. But Casa Bonita offers something in addition to that; it provides a distribution channel for 250 artisans and entrepreneurs in Columbia, and, as I mentioned earlier, it is a social enterprise. The social enterprise sector is one that I've talked about many times in this place. Social enterprises have social purpose and business sustainability hardwired into their operations, and Casa Bonita is a wonderful example of that. Casa Bonita won the Victorian Multicultural Award for Excellence in Business in 2021 and was a nominee for the Maribyrnong City Council business awards in 2022.
A division having been called in the House of Representatives—
Sitting suspended from 09 : 42 to 09 : 53