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Kind messages cut through


What started as a simple enterprise idea for entry into the 2022 Future Anything National Finals could become a viable commercial venture for Year 9 Kildare College student, Lara Ridley, after The Butterfly Foundation and the Women’s and Children's Hospital have both shown their support for the concept.

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For her social enterprise ‘Just to let you know you’re not alone’, Lara created a set of cutlery for people recovering from an eating disorder. The cutlery has kind, supporting words and affirmations laser-engraved on the handles, with 30 per cent of the profits are being donated to the Butterfly Foundation, the national charity supporting people living with an eating disorder or body image issues.
“People who have or who are recovering from an eating disorder can feel quite lonely,” Lara said. “These words will let them know they’re not alone, and provide subtle support through their journey.”
The Butterfly Foundation has shared Lara’s business content on their social media platforms, while the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation has funded the purchase of some cutlery sets to give to patients on discharge as a gift to take home.
“I would like to expand the business further, and source my own materials and equipment and scale up production,” Lara said. She also hopes to offer customised options in the future.
Focusing on sustainability, each set is made from reusable bamboo, and also comes with a card outlining the mission of the enterprise and other words as distractions for users when they are struggling.

Lara with her award.

Lara was one of two winners of the Shark Tank held at the college.   “The judges accredited the win to the passion Lara displayed during her pitch, as well as the alignment to the college’s core values and Living Justice Living Peace Charter,” said principal Tina Neate.

The Future Anything program develops students’ business and enterprise skills, with students required to create a product, build a prototype, evaluate production costs, profit and loss, retail price and marketing strategy. Feedback after each round is used to further refine the concept, to create a sustainable business model moving forward.

Over 50 schools participate nationally in the Future Anything program annually, which culminates with a Shark Tank style ntional finals round. Kildare College has had students represent the college at the national finals each year for the last three years, with a student reaching the Grand Final in 2020 and 2021.

After entering the 2022 Future Anything competition, Lara won the semi final round, progressing through to the national finals which were held in Brisbane this week. She was also the recipient of the People’s Choice award, as voted by the public.


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