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Backing Queensland’s female founders for success

16 November 2022

A $3 million investment in Queensland female founders is set to break down gender barriers, helping the state’s women entrepreneurs grow their businesses and drive the new economy.

The Queensland Government made a commitment to back women in the innovation economy in 2017 and since then more than 1500 women have taken part in Advance Queensland’s Female Founders program.

Over the next three years, $3 million will be invested under the next iteration of the Backing Female Founders program.

The program will support female founders at different stages of the entrepreneurial lifecycle to develop and grow scalable, globally successful businesses.

Backing Female Founders responds to direct feedback from female entrepreneurs on what they need to give them the best chance of achieving business success.

Under this new program, female founders will have access to the critical support and funding required to fast-track the building and scaling of their innovative businesses and in the process create new good jobs, increase market share and attract investment.

Research shows female founders face more challenges opening corporate doors and accessing established business networks than their male counterparts.

Techboard Australia research for 2021-22 found just 9.2% of investment was secured by solely female-founded companies.

On the flipside, research strongly indicates female founded businesses, on average, deliver stronger returns on investment, showing that backing Queensland female founders makes good economic sense.

At the centre of the new program is a $1 million co-investment fund, supporting early-stage and scaling female founders to match private capital - improving their access to funds while also encouraging investors to back our women entrepreneurs.

The new program will also include an accelerator, business acumen and mentoring program, a marketing initiative profiling some of Queensland’s leading female founders and a program dedicated to ensuring women find a seat at established business events and networks.

As part of the Advance Queensland – Innovation for a Future Economy 2022-2032 roadmap, the Queensland Government is also applying the gender lens across existing innovation programs, events and opportunities to ensure women entrepreneurs have equitable participation.

Brisbane-based business Lime Intelligence co-founder Carly Wieland was part of the Female Founders Mentoring and Spark programs – both of which were supported through the current Advance Queensland Female Founders initiative.

Ms Wieland said the program had opened up her eyes, and her business, to many new and diverse opportunities.

“The programs have been excellent for building connections and learning from other founders who are going through the same business challenges that we are as a company,” she said.

Work is currently underway to launch the first initiative from the program next month. (December 2022).

Read more about the Backing Female Founders Program.