Knowledge is power. The power to write a resume, maintain a mower or sew a seam.
Kate Perry is sharing that knowledge with Wiserr, an online platform that connects people through group workshops, Skype mentoring calls, one-on-one tutorials and odd jobs that really aren’t so odd after all.
The idea was born over a quiet beer in December 2015 and the Wiserr community now includes experts in woodwork, design, ceramics, business development, branding, resume writing and interview preparation.
“Dad (Mike Perry) was a ‘67 premiership player for Richmond and had a buzzing photography studio at the height of the lucrative 80’s advertising boom,” Ms Perry, 37, said.
“He stuck with analogue photography all while the advertising landscape was changing. His business eventually declined but he never lost that knowledge and passion for his craft.
“We were talking and it really hit home that dad had a lot to offer – he could teach, work and give back to the community.
“It wasn’t just about knowledge, it was his wisdom and insights and industry experience that came with years of successes, challenges and working in the real world.”
Get Wiserr to community benefits
Wiserr service providers, Wiserrs, are people over 45 who share their knowledge and experiences – the good, the bad and the indifferent.
Like other freelancers they’re paid for their expertise, but money isn’t Ms Perry’s motivator.
“When I was working on the Wiserr idea I read report after report, including the 2015 Intergenerational Report by Joe Hockey,” the Woodend mother of two said.
“All these reports pointed to the same thing – older people with knowledge and experience are living longer active lives and want to continue doing what they love but can’t get a leg up.
“They’re either overlooked for the job, not given promotional or upskiling opportunities and often replaced by their younger counterparts or advances in technology.
“I felt there was a gap in the market, not just for the Wiserrs but for what they offer. We’ve got all this great human capital in Australia and it’s largely untapped.
“Wiserr is an outlet and an online community where people can essentially start their own small business.
“On a broader scale it empowers people and improves their sense of self-worth, confidence and well-being, which has positive flow on effects across the community.”
Wiserr at work in the digital age
Ms Perry has big plans for Wiserr as she works towards attracting investors and developing a mobile responsive website.
She is also on the lookout for more Wiserrs to add their experience to the growing network.
“On the flip-side, I’m really interested in what people need, what does the market demand? What services are people looking for in the community?” Ms Perry said.
“Lately it’s been sewing so I’ve put the call out for people who can sew.
“That seems strange at first but it’s actually quite common with more and more people buying clothes online.
“These clothes can be ill-fitting so there’s an opportunity for a sewer to do some alterations and also to teach some skills.
“There’s always something that needs to be done, like updating a resume, and there’s always something that needs to be fixed, like the mower that keeps playing up or a young executive who needs comms training to advance their career.
“I want people to be able to use Wiserr to contact an expert and learn how to sew, how to fix that resume, how to pitch for a promotion and how to keep the mower going. One day Wiserr will offer it all.”
Ipswich at Myriad this May
Representatives will showcase the city’s start-up success stories and promote Ipswich as an innovation hub focused on job creation and skills development.
The three-day festival will attract hundreds of businesses, investors, developers and entrepreneurs to the Royal International Convention Centre in Fortitude Valley from 16 to 18 May.