Top 4 Finalist in Soroptimist International Sponsored Award Category for Empowering Others

Barbara Armstrong has reached the finalist stage for the Soroptimist International Women Empowering Others Award which forms part of the 7News Young Achiever Awards Queensland.

The purpose of the 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards is to acknowledge, encourage and most importantly promote the positive achievements of all young people throughout Queensland, 30 years of age and under, as of 31st December each year.

The Soroptimist International Women Empowering Others Award acknowledges and celebrates the commitment of young women in initiating and leading activities which enable change in the lives of women and girls locally, nationally and/or internationally. Barbara is one of 4 top finalists being considered for this award. 

Public voting is now open to the public for these awards and you are able to read about the finalists in this Award category.

Public voting is now open to the public for these awards and you are able to read about the finalists in this Award category.

Click here to vote!

The poll closes at midnight on Monday 15th May 2023

Entrepreneurial pursuits and Achievements

Barbara grew up in a small country town in Queensland called Wamuran. She admittedly did not have any experience in running an organisation prior to Sweet Peanuts but has undertaken postgraduate study and participated in numerous accelerator programs for the benefit of the organisation’s success.

When asked what entrepreneurship meant to her, Barbara responded:

“Initially, I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the term ‘entrepreneurship’ but I have grown to accept it and own it as a social entrepreneur. I see it as identifying needs or gaps that need support or change to create resolution and evolution. It’s being able to adapt and pivot for the sake of progress and this also means being able to accept failure as part of the process. Once you’ve come up with your solution, you don’t stop asking questions, you continue to research and develop throughout the entire journey. This is what’s truly entrepreneurial.”

Barbara Armstrong

In 2022, Barbara was selected as an Award Finalist in a number of Business Awards. She was a finalist in three categories in the AusMumpreneur Awards for 2022 and won Gold for The Women’s Business School Award. Barbara was also a top five finalist in the Third Sector Awards for Young Leader of the Year, and a successful top five finalist in the Moreton Bay Business and Innovation Awards for Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In late 2022, Sweet Peanuts and its founder were recognised internationally in the Stevie Awards for Women in Business and were named as one of the select few organisations that were winners in four or more categories. To complete the year of award categories, Sweet Peanuts was named a finalist in the Australian Women Small Business Champion Awards for the New Business Award.

Passion, Resilience, and Innovation

As a new organisation, the biggest challenge was knowing where to start and how to become a successful and sustainable nonprofit organisation (NGO). From the very beginning, Barbara wanted these care packages to be donated to women and couples and started to look at registering as a nonprofit or charity with the Australian Charities and Nonprofits Commission (ACNC). However, realising the magnitude of work involved to register as a charity, to fundraise, and the need to have a proof of concept, she realised that starting as a charity wasn’t going to be possible by herself. 

Barbara continued by creating social media pages to begin a following and reached out to local community groups to discuss the care packages, the response was overly motivating, positive, and validated the need for Sweet Peanuts. Barbara then attended the Accelerator for Enterprising Women summit and Incubator programs to refine the idea further. Through this program, she was introduced to the term ‘social enterprise’ and encouraged to study at University. Being a Social Enterprise allows her to fulfil her ambition of donating the packages while creating a positive social impact overcoming the challenge of not being able to register as a charity.

Supporting the Community

Barbara as an individual and the organisation have represented Queensland and the Moreton Bay region in a number of Award categories in the past year and will continue to represent this region as the organisation grows to a national scale. In 2023, Sweet Peanuts will progress through the year with a focus on being a strong Ally voice for Aboriginal and First Nation Australians. This begins with our collaboration with Bobbi Lockyer, an Internationally renowned Indigenous artist.

In September 2022, Barbara was invited to be nominated for a board position for the Caboolture Workers Cooperative. The Caboolture Workers Cooperative is a social enterprise and registered not-for-profit in the Moreton Bay Region that provides employment opportunities for people living with disability. At the 2022 AGM, Barbara was elected into the board role of Secretary and she looks forward to applying her knowledge of entrepreneurship and social enterprise in this volunteer role for the benefit of the community.

The Awards Gala

The Gala Dinner Presentation is an event where people from all over Queensland come together to celebrate the fantastic achievements of young people. The event is being held at The Royal On The Park in Brisbane on the 19th May.

You can learn more about the 2022 awards by visiting this link:


Category winners will each receive $2,000 in prizes and a trophy.

The Queensland Young Achiever of the Year will also receive a state trophy.

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