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Cafe Stepping Stone is the creation of two young Australian friends, Tom Navakas and Vanessa Brettell, wanting to fight inequality in Cartagena, Colombia., through a social enterprise cafe.

Our aim is to provide a safe and comfortable space to facilitate learning, growth and confidence that also gives quality, comprehensive training and employment to the local disadvantaged youth. Through practical experience, this cafe will provide them with opportunities and skills to gain future employment. Working with the community and local non-for-profit organisations regularly and with care will ensure they are helping in the most beneficial way.

We will endeavour to serve nutritious, high quality meals and beverages for tourists and locals to enjoy  and experience Australian cafe hospitality and culture while simultaneously helping those less fortunate.

Help us achieve our goals by donating to us or sharing our word.

You can donate though our GoFundMe page. If you can’t donate please share our page to give us the best chance of succeeding, every dollar counts!

We recently featured in a local newspaper, if you want to check it out, click here

Our Business Model

Located in the tourist centre of Cartagena, our cafe will focus on gaining national and international tourists clientele through a comprehensive marketing campaign through social media, publicity events and networking with other local businesses.

Our employees will be recommended to us through a selected NGO who shares our mission and aim in increasing education, employment, upskilling disadvantaged youth and therefore reducing inequality in Cartagena. We will focus on a particular community or neighbourhood to ensure our efforts have the best direct and indirect effects.

3 month Paid Internship Program 

Our plan is to have a prestigious 3 month paid internship program as this has been identified as the most effective way to help a larger number of people. Those in our program will receive an induction, basic English lessons, weekly hospitality training and practical work experience with above minimum wage. They will also receive meals and be covered for transport costs.

After the 3 months they will either stay on with us in a managerial position for another 3 months to train the new participants or we provide guidance for them to move into other employment.