#SheHacks 2016 – WomenWelcomeWomen

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This idea came from our frustration that we cannot do anything about Australian government’s policy towards refugees combined with our own experiences as immigrants to Australia.

We have all struggled to settle in, whether figuring out how the trams work – how to get a driver’s license, or what the best brand of milk is – these little struggles make it hard to feel at home. And there is something we can do about that. We have focused on women because they are often concerned about their safety in a new environment, which can quickly lead to isolation.

Inspired by the generous couch surfing community and the stories of families in Canada helping new refugees – we intend to build a community of Women WELCOMING Women via a Non-Profit structure.

We have two targets: Newcomers (those seeking a small helping hand) and Guides (those who have some time, knowledge and a smile to give):

The goal is to facilitate: Safe, 1:1 human interactions between women with the goal of welcoming newcomers by helping them overcome the small challenges. Because it is often the little things that make us feel welcome.

Size of the Newcomer market: ~100,000 women move to Australia every year.

Guides: Based on our quick survey – there is interest from potential Guides to spend time (in some cases a whole day) helping a newcomer. Based on estimates from couch surfing – we expect there are around 1,000 potential “founding guides” who would be very engaged early on to help us build the community.

The solution is a mobile optimised web site that hosts profiles of newcomers and guides that match individuals based on what the newcomer needs (learning local customs, help finding a rental apartment) and what the guides are able to offer. The MVP is focused on the direct matches, but we expect that our partners would want to be able to use the solution to facilitate connections for women that are more vulnerable and less likely to engage directly.

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SheHacks team members

Eva Plesencia

Jennifer Fein

Cheng Chua