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Space2b Social Design

Space2b Laneway Café: Connections–Work–Belonging

Space2b Laneway Café: Connections–Work–Belonging

Help us rebuild our vibrant art & cultural training hub so we can continue to provide that crucial first opportunity to new migrants, refugees and people ...

australia > VIC > metro
01/12/2020 > 30/06/2021


  • Employment pathways
  • Community & economic development


  • Asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and people from CALD backgrounds
  • People experiencing socio-economic disadvantage or vulnerability


Help us rebuild our vibrant art & cultural training hub so we can continue to provide that crucial first opportunity to new migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum. A safe place to build confidence, work experience, exchange skills, practice English, share stories and make life connections. Pathways to employment and networks to help people thrive.

Connections – Work – Belonging

During COVID, the laneway café had to close.

The Space2b Laneway Café project will reinvigorate this vital community space for newly arrived migrants.

With government COVID funding, the entire laneway will be closed off, providing open dining experience, keeping us safe to dine, connect and train during COVID-safe and COVID-normal times.

Through this project, we will target our more vulnerable women’s groups as we launch our weekly Art and Culture Meetups for diverse migrant communities to increase English skills, make friends, and build connections.

An exciting feature of this project will be the establishment of a global lunch and breakfast experience for the local community. These will offer the foods of diverse cultures, furthering our efforts at community building, and providing an outlet for food vendors who have struggled in recent months.

All we need is to reignite our platform… the Space2b Laneway Café.

This grant will provide essential funding to get the Café up and running again, contributing to the wages of two CALD women, procure needed equipment, and a marketing campaign. This project will strengthen our partnerships with local businesses, council staff and local schools through takeaway meals promotion activities.

Our work


1 A sustainable café, art, community-building, and training hub that can continue to support and train members of our vulnerable CALD communities.
Measure: projected financial viability, 10% Increased patronage from 2019, two new partnerships for program

2 A sustainable and popular ‘Global Lunch Fridays’ program
Measure: Average of 35 people attending each lunch, projected financial viability, community feedback surveys.

3 A sustainable and popular meetup program that can be replicated year after year with a growing number of participants and industry support.
Measure: Over 15 attendees at each meetup. Over 50 members on our online connection platform within 6 months,

4 12 participants on the road to employment through on the job training, increased skills, work experience, understanding key aspects of the hospitality industry, business management, and expanded networks.
Measure: Two staff employed by end of 6 months, 10 participants completing our training program. Skill increase evaluated with goal setting training plan based on SMART approach.

5 Inclusion & cross cultural understanding : The meetups, lunches and laneway events aim to break down barriers and build intercultural connections/relationships that bring us closer together as a community.
Measure: community feedback via face2face questionnaires; STAR evaluation with participants to assess skill, language, and inclusion.

6 Promotion of takeaway meals for local schools, businesses and council staff: Strengthening partnerships in the local community; providing opportunities for parents from migrant backgrounds to build connections, council and local businesses staff to support and get to know CALD residents.
Measure: social media analytics, events, customer feedback

Profile of Space2b Social Design

Space2b Social Design

Space2b is a vibrant, thriving social enterprise whose mission is to empower and build community among recently arrived culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities to achieve financial independence through our social enterprise and broader partnerships.

Co-founded by talented designer Janine Lawrie, with activist and Somalian refugee Mariam Issa; this dynamic pair’s efforts have captured the local community’s hearts and minds, galvanizing support from 50+ volunteers to date. What began as two trial pop-up shops in 2015 has now turned into an exciting community workspace that has a permanent residence in bustling Chapel Street, St Kilda that includes a thriving retail outlet, art gallery; employment, training and business hub; featuring a laneway café.
Space2b came about through a simple idea with pure intent – fostering connections, building community and creating opportunities through a one-stop social enterprise. It brings people together to exchange skills, mentor, learn and practice English, share stories and dreams and form lasting friendships as we create pathways for them into productive and fulfilling work.

Last year we supported 118 migrants in pathways to financial independence, attracted 45 designers and 50+ regular volunteers; held five successful large-scale events attracting 5500+ participants and ran creative workshops and holiday programs with 180 attendees.

During COVID-19 we established an online shop and gallery. We are also holding some social activities online such as Face2Face, a mini-Archibald style portrait of local heroes exhibition and competition; and Kitchen2Kitchen featuring our creatives cooking their special family recipe combined with storytelling and talking about their work.


Funding sourceAmount
Cafe income (projection)$10,480
Funding gap (unconfirmed)$15,575
In-kind (rent subsidy, volunteers)$16,500
Expense itemAmount
Café Management (salaries of two CALD women staff)$25,480
Cafe equipment$5,115
Marketing, Promotion and Community Engagement$6,710
In-kind (project management, rent subsidy, volunteers)$16,500

Support Space2b Laneway Café: Connections–Work–Belonging

Got a question about this project or ready to contribute? Contact our Philanthropy & Impact Team.


As a broker of change, we invite social change initiatives to apply for funding. Eligible proposals are shared with our giving community via our Granting Opportunities directory.