Female Startup Club founder donates $5,000 to UNSW’s New Wave Program to bridge entrepreneurial gender gap

- April 18, 2023 2 MIN READ
New Wave
Doone Roisin with the women entrepreneurs in New Wave Cohort 11. Photo: Supplied
Founder and host of the Female Startup Club, Doone Roisin, will make a first-ever philanthropic donation to the New Wave program at New South Wales University (UNSW). 

New Wave provides women-identifying students, staff, and alumni opportunities to enhance their startup skills through workshops, masterclasses with experts, and mentorship from industry leaders. 

This support is available at any stage of their entrepreneurial journey, allowing them to develop, refine, and test their startup concepts.

New Waves runs twice annually, and the principles taught in it have been tried and tested, with great results for the hundreds of women founders worldwide. 

The program aims to close the entrepreneurial gender gap by offering customised support and resources to female founders.  

Over 45% of the startups that have received guidance and mentorship from UNSW Founders this year have at least one female founder, more than twice the industry average.

The donation establishes the “Doone Roisin Business Innovation Award,” which will award two women founders at UNSW’s biannual New Wave pitch competition with two $2,500 prizes.

“I’m thrilled to be able to make this donation to the New Wave program,” Roisin said.

Roisin has made her name as a young media powerhouse through her work with Female Startup Club, where she promotes and supports female entrepreneurs worldwide. 

New Wave

Doone Roisin with New Wave cohort. Photo: Supplied

She is a successful podcast host and author and hopes her donation inspires others to act. 

Last year, she received the Australian Young Achiever of the Year award at Buckingham Palace. 

“As a passionate advocate for female entrepreneurship, I know how important it is to support programs like New Wave that help women overcome the unique challenges they face when starting a business,” she said.

“While this $5000 donation may not solve the larger problem, it’s a positive step forward, and I hope it inspires others to take action as well.”

Doone’s donation was inspired by a Pro Bono Magazine article in which UNSW Director of Entrepreneurship, David Burt, argued that philanthropy and startups are closely connected. 

Burt believes philanthropy can be a cost-effective way to promote innovation and help scale up startups, especially in uncertain economic conditions and with rising living costs. 

“UNSW Founders has already attracted around $15 million in philanthropy over the past eight years and has supported over 50,000 people to develop their entrepreneurial skills, with over 500 new start-ups emerging from the process.”

AmpleFolk founder Holly Richards, who was Doone’s first mentee, not only won the New Wave pitch competition in 2020 but also successfully launched her idea for a radically inclusive AF lifestyle brand last year. 

“Both the support of New Wave and mentoring from Doone is invaluable to entrepreneurs like me,” she said. 

“I’m grateful to see Doone’s commitment to empowering women founders translate into tangible action that directly benefits our community. 

“This is how unicorns are born.”