Female-founded companies net $11m in federal funding

Brandon How

Nearly 40 female-founded startups will share in over $11 million in federal funding as part of the second round of the Boosting Female Founders program.

The $52.2 million program was launched in 2020-21 to support female-founded startups, defined as companies which are majority female-owned and led.

Under the scheme, applicants can apply for co-contribution grants worth between $25,000 and $400,000, or $480,000 if the company is located in a regional area, is owned by an indigenous Australia, has a founding team member with a disability or migrated to Australia as a refugee or on humanitarian grounds.

Jane Hume
Jane Hume

The second grants round under the program received over 2500 expressions of interest, over 300 more than in the first round, which saw $12 million distributed and 725 hours of mentoring delivered.

Eleven businesses received the maximum grant, including sustainable insulated package manufacturer Woolpack Australia, work roster optimisation service Roster Right and Stocked Foods, which aims to establish the first fully certified Australian gluten free mill for locally grown grain.

Another successful applicant, Everty, has received a grant of almost $215,000 to continue development of a software platform for the management of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The company has also developed an app that helps drivers locate and pay for EV charging services.

Minister for Women’s Economic Security Jane Hume said the government is committed to supporting female entrepreneurs.

“Supporting Australia’s women entrepreneurs to build successful businesses is good for their economic security, and good for the Australian economy,” Senator Hume said.

“Diverse voices and ideas make for better businesses, and all Australians stand to benefit from the innovative products and services this talented group of women have created.”

Minister for Industry Angus Taylor said the selected companies are worthy recipients.

“These startups demonstrate the incredible Aussie ingenuity we want to foster around the world. Through this funding we are investing in female-founded businesses, the women who run them and the jobs they can create both now and into the future,” Mr Taylor said.

The government provided $18 million for the Boosting Female Entrepreneurs program as part of the 2018 Women’s Economic Security Statement, and provided a further $35.9 million in 2020.

When announcing the program, then-Industry minister Karen Andrews pointed out that women often only raise half the capital compared to companies founded by men, and “even when they get finance, the terms can be less favourable”.

Last July, all applicants for the program were mistakenly sent a congratulatory email only to be met with a follow-up email hours later saying they were unsuccessful.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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