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Boosting Female Founders Initiative

Overview

This program aims to provide targeted support through grants on a co-contribution basis to female owned and led startups to scale into domestic and/or global markets. It forms part of the 2018 and 2020 Women’s Economic Security Statements, which help to support more Australian women into work and Australia’s international obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

The program also provides access to expert mentoring and advice to help women entrepreneurs grow and scale their startups. A select number of eligible applicants will be offered the opportunity for one-on-one advice from an expert mentor.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • Stimulate private sector investments into innovative startups led by women.
  • Help women entrepreneurs overcome barriers to accessing finance and support necessary to scale their startups.
  • Enable female founders to scale-up, expand into domestic and/or global markets, and become self-sufficient.
  • Boost the economy through increasing the diversity of startup founders.
Grants available are:

  • Between $100,000 and $400,000, up to 50% of the total eligible project expenditure (grant percentage).
  • Between $100,000 and $480,000, up to 70% of the total eligible project expenditure (grant percentage) for priority groups.
A total funding pool of $52.2 million is available over five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25, of which an estimated $11.6 million is available for this round.

The application is a two-stage process:

  • Expression of interest
  • Full application (by invitation)

Who Can Apply?

Eligible applicants must:

  • Be a startup that is scalable.
  • Be a female founded startup that is at least 51% owned and led by women, as defined in the Glossary at section 14 in the Guidelines.
  • Have an active Australian Business Number (ABN).
  • Have a combined annual turnover of less than $20 million for each of the three financial years prior to the lodgement of the application.
  • Be one of the following entities:
    1. An entity incorporated in Australia
    2. A partnership
    3. A sole trader
    4. Trust or trustees
For the purpose of this program, a startup is defined as:

  • An early stage, innovative or disruptive business that is scalable and working on a new or novel product, service or has a different business model.
  • A startup which can grow quickly and has the potential to address large national and international markets such as entering new markets, sales or organisation.
Please refer to the Guidelines for the complete eligibility requirements.

Eligible Activities

Eligible projects must support the female founded (majority owned and led by women) startup to scale into domestic and/or global markets.

Eligible activities can include, but are not limited to:

  • Launching and scaling products and/or services
  • Developing and marketing software and apps
  • Development and marketing of products and/or services
  • Purchase of equipment specific to project to support growth
  • Expansion to other markets
  • Access to independent management (for example C-suite, advisory board)
  • Expanding management teams and/or establishing a board
  • Access to relevant professional development
Please refer to the Guidelines for the complete list of eligible expenditure.

Main Assessment Criteria

The main assessment criteria include:

1. Expression of interest (Stage 1)

  • How a grant will help applicants to scale-up, expand into domestic and global markets, and become self-sufficient. (40 points)
  • The capacity, capability and resources to grow. (30 points)
  • The impact of grant funding. (30 points)
2. Grant application (Stage 2)

  • How grant funding will help applicants to overcome barriers to scaling, expanding into domestic and/or global markets and becoming self-sufficient. (30 points)
  • The capacity, capability and resources to deliver the project. (40 points)
  • The impact of grant funding. (30 points)
Please refer to the Guidelines for the complete list of the assessment criteria.

Restrictions

The following are ineligible for funding:

  • Unincorporated association
  • Not-for-profit organisation
  • Registered charity
  • Commonwealth, state, territory or local government body (including government business enterprises)
  • Research not directly supporting eligible activities
  • Debt financing
  • Depreciation of plant and equipment beyond the life of the project
  • Maintenance costs
  • Costs of purchasing, leasing, depreciation of, or development of land
  • Non-project-related staff training and development costs

Please refer to the Guidelines for the complete list of restrictions.

  • Start-up
     
  • Research & Development
  • Marketing
     
  • Export
     
  • Business Support
     
Documentation Uploaded
Sample Grant Agreement 2022-04-29 Download
Sample Application Form - Stage 1 2022-04-29 Download
Declaration of Ownership 2022-04-29 Download
FAQs 2022-04-29 Download
Guidelines 2022-04-29 Download
Sample Application Form - Stage 2 2022-04-29 Download
Evidence of Contribution Template 2022-04-29 Download

Use these documents as a guide only - always get the latest direct from the Administrator

Category
Business
Dates
Status Pending
Opening Date