Fresh funding for female founders announced

The state government has announced a new $110,000 grants program to support South Australian women to start businesses.

Mar 06, 2024, updated Mar 06, 2024
Deputy Premier Susan Close at _SOUTHSTART. Photo: David Simmons/InDaily.

Deputy Premier Susan Close at _SOUTHSTART. Photo: David Simmons/InDaily.

Deputy Premier Susan Close unveiled the grants program this morning at innovation, tech and business conference _SOUTHSTART, noting women “consistently report hardship in accessing the capital required to start and scale their businesses”.

Formed in partnership with the Fearless Females Network (FNN) the new Fearless Innovator Grants Program will award money from a pool of $110,000 to innovative, female-founded businesses.

The funds come from the government’s Research and Innovation Fund, with program applications to open in June 2024 and be awarded to businesses at the Women in Innovation Awards in November 2024 and 2025.

“We all know the best teams are the teams that have a variety of people – age, sex, gender, culture, socio-economic background, personal experience… everything that brings that diversity makes a team stronger,” Close said at ­­_SOUTHSTART this morning.

“One of the announcements that’s part of _SOUTHSTART today is to support fearless women. The state government is going to give some money to allow grants to encourage more female founders.

“You guys are incredible and we’re so happy to be supporting you. We know that we’re going to be stronger and better if we’re listening to women as well as men and all the other forms of diversity that are possible.”

Minister for Small and Family Business Andrea Michaels said the program follows the success of the Women in Business program, which she said had already benefitted more than 1000 South Australian women.

“This latest initiative will directly tackle inequitable access to funding for female-led start-ups with just 26 per cent of funding for start-ups going to women-led businesses in 2023,” she said.

“Small businesses are the heart of South Australia’s economy contributing $49 billion each year and ensuring equitable access to capital is a strategic move to boost our state’s economy for the future.”

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