Monique Newberry is Co-founder of Be Well Co
What’s your mission?
Be Well Co exists to give people the skills to build their mental health and grow through life’s challenges.
Our mission is to offer scientifically proven tools to the 2 in 3 people across society (17million Australians: you read that right! ) who have issue with their mental health, before more serious problems arise.
What does your business do, and who are your customers?
We innovate the way society tackles mental illness by offering a suite of integrated tools, backed by scientific peer-reviewed evidence and proven to reduce distress and improve wellbeing; tools which do not rely on clinical resources from our overburdened system.
Through our ongoing work with over 30+ organisations and our national network of professional trainers, we scale our reach to proactively build psychological health leading to benefits for individuals as well as for organisations who are combating low productivity, churn and difficulties in attracting and retaining talent.
We have purposefully integrated our three core offerings to drive actual impact with scalability, and include an online mental health and wellbeing measurement platform, training offerings and ongoing wellbeing content including our mobile app.
What does it mean to you, to be a ‘social enterprise’?
For Be Well Co social impact is embedded at the core of our business model and all our offerings, it is not solely one project or part of the business. Improving mental health for individuals and organisations benefits us all. We also actively work to ensure our impact extends to all corners of society and have a policy in place to play our part in reducing health inequities across society, including making our services accessible to vulnerable groups, reaching 9,000+ vulnerable individuals since 2019 already.
Can you scale a mission? Are there challenges around growing your business, while also staying committed to your impact thesis?
We have tested various business models over a number of years (grant funded projects, philanthropic projects, government funding etc) and while they each have an important role to play, we believe we can achieve the greatest level of reach and therefore impact, over a prolonged period of time via a commercial model.
It is the reason why we are seeking capital, to help set us up nationally and grow faster. This of course is not without its challenges including a market at differing levels of maturity. Our model allows us to continue to innovate our offerings to meet customer and consumer needs and drive sustainable improvements in mental health.
How have you seen investor sentiment change over the past 5 years, when it comes to recognising the value (or cost) of being mission-led?
We have had an eye on the impact investment movement over recent years and it is very promising to see a greater portion of capital flow towards impact-led businesses. We have seen this from large institutional investors and super funds right through to family offices and individual angel investors who wish to influence a better world. Part of this shift includes the need to help investors screen which enterprises truly have impact and measurement embedded at the core of their business.
Was there a business (either local or globally) that influenced the development of your organisation?
Our work was initially launched seven years ago within the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and was heavily influenced by work undertaken in the US including across the US military where it was recognised that mental health was just as important as physical health and that we can proactively build better mental health for us all.
What’s in store for your business in 2022?
We are also raising capital this year which presents a very exciting opportunity for us to take Be Well Co to the next level of growth and further scale our reach and impact.
We have great traction and are hitting over $1m in sales and operate at a break even.
In terms of product development, this year we are upgrading our measurement platform with a new scientifically validated measurement approach and are rolling out an upgrade of our online reports, which further helps us automate our insights and improve our efficiency of delivering insights to clients.