Cupcakes and Cleavage - Empowering Women for Social Change
This project also has a Changeshop where you can read more about its latest progress.
Go to Changeshop: Cupcakes and Cleavage - Empowering Women for Social Change.
Ms. Brafit Limited is a Female Owned Social Enterprise which was established 2002 to focus on breast health and breast care. We seek innovative and meaningful ways of partnering and collaboration to grow businesses and to increase market visibility amongst peers. We innovated Cupcakes and Cleavage to have a focused day to feature collaboration as a change agent for women in business
About Your Organization
Ms. Brafit Limited
Trinidad and Tobago, PS, Port of Spain
Country where this project is creating social impact
Trinidad and Tobago, PS
Age of Innovator
Gender of Innovator
Is your organization a
How long has your organization been operating?
More than 5 years
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Name Your Entry
Cupcakes and Cleavage - Empowering Women for Social Change
Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Growth (your pilot is up and running, and starting to expand)
How long have you been in operation?
Operating for 1‐5 years
The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
Female entrepreneurs seldom have the opportunity to showcase their brands in a nurturing environment where they can share their products, services and experiences with an audience that is fixed on their specific offerings of their viable businesses and innovations.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
Cupcakes and Cleavage seeks to address and sculpt a safe environment wherein women entrepreneurs, craft makers and innovators can present their brands and attract attention to grow their businesses and create employment and economic anc social sustainability.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
Cupcakes and Cleavage is an organized event that happens on June 30 annually but which sees year long growth for the participants and their brands. Within a year from the event, many entrepreneurs report sales increases, new business opportunities and business growth.
The event is a partnering event which takes the form of a seminar and cocktail event with a keynote speaker and a strong message from an accomplished leader in society.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
At present, Ms. Brafit's event is the only female focused event in the island that takes the lead in attending to supporting women in business. The peers are small female owned businesses. Our event attracts partners from the corporate sector who donate their space, time, door prizes and human capital to bring about strong social change for small businesses owned by women.
This Entry is about (Issues)
What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)
Access to financing, Access to talent, Access to supply chains, Access to technology, Access to economic opportunity, Policy change/advocacy.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Our main impacts have been in the areas of (b) Access to Talent, (c) Access to Supply Chains and (e) Access to economic opportunity. The feedback from each participant and the guests, is always positive and many of the participants communicate on the ways in which they have benefitted from the event. Participants have been awarded contracts to supply their products and to promote their brands at other events. Feedback coming in from our just concluded 2012 event, has been positive with three (3) participants sending notes that they were targeted by both public and private sector organizations to provide supplies or services and the transactions have already been closed or advanced since June 30, 2012 event. The press also sees the event as a very viable event to promote and so the newspaper headlines for the entire week following this event are usually very positive and the features always serve to further empower the participants and to attract additional attention to the venture.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
Cupcakes and Cleavage future editions will be bigger events and we hope to secure the presence of an regional and international keynote speakers and to have participants from other islands. The intent is to have local government support from key ministries. The acclaim of Cupcakes and Cleavage has spread to other islands already and expressions of interest has come in from Grenada to host the event in their country. Therefore the intent is to expand this event to be a regional event being hosted on each island simultaneously on June 30. Further the current intent is to have a wider participation in the next 1-3 years as the current capacity is 75 - 100 and we would like to extend this. Especially since, after every event, we get calls from interested participants and partners.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
Funding has been the key barrier, but the innovative way we have been able to attract partners who give goodwill, has been phenomenal. This year we attracted Caribbean Airlines who generously donated a door prize of a round trip ticket to any destination. The generosity of Media 21 allowed us to have our event recoreded whilst a local bank offered a door prize. The venue hotel continues to donate the space and the cupcakes while we stand the cost of the printing of the programme booklet, tokens, savory snacks, photography and other incidentals which can sometimes be very costly. The intent to overcome these barriers can be (1) to continue to attract these partners and acquire tangible funding and/or (2) charge a fee for participation by the entrepreneurs and an entrance fee for attendees.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Using all the footage from previous events and targeting new interests with these and measuring them by the interest that is att
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Edit, package & publish video recordings from recently concluded event
Send out invitation packages to potential partners/sponsors for next 1 - 3 years of events
Create a larger social media identity specifically for Cupcakes and Cleavage
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
International Partner for Cupcakes and Cleavage. Selection of a Patron for this annual event and having the keynote speaker for
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Chair a committee to nominate a patron
Invite local/international partners to become involved
Locate & engage Keynote Speaker and share intent
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world.
Cupcakes and Cleavage began as an experiment in 2010 with Ms. Brafit and three female entrepreneurs who had strong brands but did not have a way to be sufficiently visible.
While the space at Ms. Brafit was available to vend these products and services, the capacity to host such an event for a wider audience was elusive. Being a very innovative person, I thougth of a way to sell our brands to a wider population and especially to a female audience. Because I specialise in breast care and foundation garments, I had an "Aha" moment by using two resources that I did not have to go very far to locate. I served cupcakes to clients on Saturdays and they were always happy to have one when they came shopping. So, using my own cleavage, I created the invitation and the event name. I then went to Carlton Savannah Hotel and asked them to partner with me on this event and asked them for the space, a welcome drink and cupcakes for 100 guests. I further invited clients and media and voila!
Tell us about your partnerships
The partnerships are on varied levels:
(1) Sponsor Partner - Carlton Savannah donates: venue, cupcakes, service and welcome beverage for each guest
(2) Peer Partner - Fellow entrepreneurs who showcase their brands, provide samples and deliver a presentation to the audience. 2012 Peer Partners included KiaraKay Candles, Gina's Chocolates, Anthea's Treasure Trove, GYP
(3) Corporate Partner - Offers donations of door prizes and corporate brand sampling or their pro bono services to enhance the event's capacity: Caribbean Airlines, First Citizens, Carlton Savannah, Media 21, HGIL Services Ltd
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list
The intent of networking is to engage a wider audience that can facilitate change globally on the social landscape. In expanding the networks and collaborative efforts, the capacity building process would become an easy one, which will in itself allow for innovation and ideas, mentorship and focused growth in human and economic capital.