Brisbane Gets Buffed

Wednesday, 09/11/2011

Today will mark the beginning of Australia’s Shoe Shine revolution thanks to the new social franchise aptly named, Buffed. 

Buffed, Australia’s first social franchise was launched in Brisbane today by the Wise Foundation and founding partners BOQ, University of Queensland Business School and The Body Shop. 

Buffed provides opportunities to individuals who are currently unemployed or underemployed to secure their futures through small business ownership with each Buffed site owned and operated by individuals under a franchise model.  

This shoe shine stand franchise network will operate initially in Brisbane CBD sites with future plans for expansion in to Melbourne and Sydney in early 2012 followed by a national rollout. 

This ground breaking model is the initiative of the Wise Foundation, founders of numerous other successful social enterprise initiatives including Bizness Babes, Bleeding Heart and most notably The Big Issue street newspaper.

It is the financial and ongoing support that differentiates Buffed from other franchises, allowing disadvantaged individuals to purchase and operate their own business with the provision of no interest loans to assist in funding the acquisition fee plus free ongoing extensive training, development and support throughout their life as a Buffed franchisee.

Graeme Wise, Chairman of the Wise Foundation, said that Buffed not only helps the franchisees’ immediate future but will set them on their way to achieve their long term aspirations. 

“Buffed is focused on the development of innovative social infrastructure that will provide a platform of opportunity to people who rarely, if ever, are presented with these prospects. For some individuals it may be the start of a career business while for others it is simply a solid albeit life changing stepping stone to achieve even greater things,” said Graeme. 

“There are so many people who are very passionate about improving the lives of themselves and their families.  They are willing to work hard to achieve that but might not have the knowledge, skills, networks or capital to take those necessary steps to start their own initiatives.  

“While growing their own Buffed franchise, they will develop not only the skills to deliver a professional and prompt shoe shine, but also the experience and confidence that will greatly assist them in life both in the short and long term. 

BOQ Managing Director and CEO Stuart Grimshaw said that Buffed has created a platform for business, community and government to work together to actively assist in the creation of opportunities that will enable individuals to secure their future in ways not previously possible. 

“Buffed immediately caught the imagination of BOQ when the idea was first brought to us by The Wise Foundation. The opportunity to help anyone start their own business is what BOQ as a Bank prides itself on - our branch Owner Managers, as small business owners themselves, are testament to that,” Stuart said. 

“As a founding partner of this important social enterprise, BOQ is on board to not only provide financial support but also to provide crucial expertise to the Wise Foundation on best practice regarding operating a successful franchise network and guidance to the franchisee on how to develop a profitable micro business.” 

The launch was attended by many of Brisbane’s leaders in the corporate, non-profit, academic and government sectors, keen to understand how social innovation and common market structures are being positioned to address systemic social issues such as unemployment.  

The inaugural Buffed shoe shine franchises will be opening across Brisbane’s CBD within the next few weeks in premium office tower foyers, retail arcades and transport nodes.  

About Buffed

Buffed is Australia’s first Social Franchise business empowering individuals who want to work but whose opportunities are limited. The Buffed shoe shine service provides customers with the opportunity to sit and have their shoes shined and also offers a convenient drop-off service. For more information visit