Queensland has opened 2 grant programs for women founders, worth up to $200,000 a pop

- March 14, 2024 2 MIN READ
Leanne Linard
Queensland innovation minister Leanne Linard. Photo: ALP
The Queensland government’s support for women in startups has continued with two grant programs under the $8 million Backing Female Founders initiative currently accepting new applications.

The Accelerating Female Founders Program provides grants worth between $50,000 and $200,000 for business support initiatives, such as mentoring and advocacy support and customised business development activities, for female-led enterprises in both early-stage and later-stage startup phases over the next two years.

The second round of grant applications has opened. The first round launched 12 months ago, has 11 funded organisations currently delivering business support to nearly 500 women across the state.

Umar Nguyen, founder of Platinum Provedore, took part in the program.

“The program was a massive eye opener and is a great journey for female founders, especially those in smaller businesses who don’t always have time to work on their roadmap and the benefits of embracing technology,” she said.

“This greater business understanding has given me the courage to explore building an app for my business that will allow greater reach, and highlighted the importance of mitigating risk, such as protecting intellectual properly.”

The Female Founders Co-Investment Fund offers grants of between $50,000 and $200,000 to women-founded and -led businesses that are approaching new investors as part of their early-stage capital raise.

The first two recipients were medtech founders: Dr Jeni Wellington of Annuo MedTech, and Ashley Hanger of Stripped Supply.

Dr Wellington’s startup received $86,666 to develop a global healthcare networking platform for people living with chronic diseases, while Ms Hanger’s company received $116,000 to develop Australia’s first diabetes digital toolkit to empower patient self-management.

Hanger said the grant funding was a pivotal moment  to help them improve the health outcomes and patient experience of the 1.5 million Australians living with diabetes.

“This Fund not only fuels our ambitions, but reaffirms the crucial role women play in driving innovation and economic growth,” she said.

“We are honoured to be recognised, and are committed to continue making impactful strides towards equality in patient healthcare and the startup ecosystem.”

The eligibility requirements for the Co-Investment Fund have been expanded to allow more women-led organisations to apply for support during the investment raising stage.

Queensland innovation minister Leanne Linard said the updated guidelines reflect feedback received from both female founders and investors, to make it more accessible and easier to navigate, and open up eligibility to more women.

“Female entrepreneurs are the fastest growing category of entrepreneurship in the world but raising capital is a difficult process for the average startup, and unfortunately, it is even more so for women-led companies,” she said.

“The Miles Labor government is proud to back Queensland’s female innovators and entrepreneurs.”

More on Backing Female Founders program and its grant applications is available at advance.qld.gov.au/entrepreneurs-and-startups/backing-female-founders-program