Mango Hill’s Barbara Armstrong is fast making a name for herself in the world of social enterprise.
The mum-of-two has been named as a finalist in a swag of prestigious business awards this year, winning gold in ‘The Women’s Business School’ category at the AusMumpreneur Awards category for her work building social enterprise Sweet Peanuts.
She was one of five finalists for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Moreton Bay Business and Innovation Awards, a finalist in the Young Leader of the Year Award in the Third Sector Awards and in the inaugural Australian Women's Small Business Champion Awards, as well as in four categories of the Stevie Awards.
About Barbara Armstrong
A lack of support after the loss of her first child in 2019 inspired Barbara Armstrong to establish a social enterprise supporting bereaved women who have suffered miscarriage.
When an early pregnancy assessment – which would have connected Barbara with bereavement counselling and services – was cancelled after her miscarriage, she struggled to find the help she and her husband needed.
She eventually found a support group where she learnt from other mums that there’s still stigma attached to miscarriage and the grief of many women and their partners is sometimes dismissed by family and friends.
Barbara says she’s also found that people are at a loss to know how to support grieving parents.
Determined to change that, she founded Sweet Peanuts, which donates cares packages to hospitals to ensure mothers who miscarry know someone is thinking of them and support is available.
Each care package contains a booklet with ideas for supporting grieving mums and their partners and care items such as heat pillows, tea, and bath infusions to nurture and relax parents, as well as a soft peanut keepsake locally crocheted by Jamz Crochet.
Each peanut is adorned with pink, blue or neutral accents and sales of individual keepsakes help Barbara fund the care packages.
The business is named after Barbara and husband Rob’s first child, who they nicknamed ‘Peanut’ after seeing them at their eight-week scan, as a way of honouring the experience they had and lost as first-time parents.
“Peanut inspired me and changed the whole course of my life forever,” she says.
Having finished Year 12 without an OP, Barbara says her Sweet Peanuts journey has given her the courage to earn a graduate certificate from QUT’s Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies.
She starts a Masters’ degree next year and has a full scholarship with the Women’s School of Business Ignite incubator program and its Accelerator program.
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