Celebrating and supporting inspiring women
I have been inspired this week by the nominations for the Top 50 Women in Accounting program run by Ignition. It got me thinking about
all the incredible women in my world.
When our kids were small, we moved a lot! At one point, the count was fourteen moves in seven years, including a bunch of interstate and
overseas moves. It was a life full of amazing experiences but the one thing I missed was long term female friendships. I made lovely friends
everywhere we lived, but it was different to having friends who knew my history and understood my quirks and my sense of humour. We dropped
anchor in the leafy Brisbane western suburbs just over 20 years ago and are incredibly grateful to have chosen such a wonderful harbour. The
friends that I made in those first few settled years are still my crew today. We have seen each other through births, deaths (no marriages
yet), significant birthdays, family triumphs, disasters, and tantrums all with kindness, tears, and lots of laughter. When we met, all of us
were taking a break from our careers to kid wrangle. But just recently, all our kids are grown and have flown the coop and I have begun to
appreciate how every one of these amazing friends has quietly evolved. They have always been a bunch of smart, talented, kick-arse women,
but now they are having an amazing renaissance at the back end of their careers. Whether they have chosen to
assist Indigenous artists get their product to the world (including a stint at Paris Fashion week)
work towards opening a counselling business to help the families of special needs children navigate the education system or
go back to university to study nursing for a complete change of career and then start work as an emergency nurse.
They are all superstars. You might think, “what has this got to do with bookkeeping or business”? I agree, it does seem a stretch. But this
idea of a second career for women does seem to be becoming a movement. In the United States in 2021, women started 49% of all new
businesses. That is up from 28% in 2019. That is a whole lot of new female founders rocking their own boats. The only downside of this
explosion of new businesses is that it is widely accepted that it is much more difficult for women founders to be successful at capital
Which brings me to another of my amazing friends who is kicking career goals, Tina Hill. Are you familiar with the Backing Female Founders
program in Queensland? It is a fantastic initiative that aims to support and empower female entrepreneurs across Queensland. Tina’s role is
Manager, Innovation Programs - Female Founders for Advance Queensland, Innovation at Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport so this
amazing program is her baby.
The Backing Female Founders program is a joint effort between the Queensland Government and the Australian Investment Council, designed to
provide financial and mentorship support to women-led businesses in the state. The program is open to female founders of early-stage
startups or scaleups in any industry, with a particular focus on businesses with high-growth potential.
One of the best things about this program is that it is not just about funding. Participants also receive access to a network of mentors and
investors who can provide guidance and support as they grow their businesses. This is particularly important for female founders, who often
face unique challenges and barriers when it comes to accessing capital and resources.
The program offers two rounds of funding each year, with successful applicants receiving up to $200,000 in matched funding to help them
scale their businesses. This funding can be used for a variety of purposes, from hiring fresh staff to developing new products or expanding
into new markets.
But it is not just about the money - the Backing Female Founders program also provides valuable opportunities for female entrepreneurs to
connect with other like-minded business leaders and gain exposure to innovative ideas and perspectives. This can be incredibly valuable for
founders who may be working in isolation or who do not have access to a dedicated support network.
Overall, the Backing Female Founders program is an amazing initiative that is making a real difference for women-led businesses in
Queensland. It is great to see the government and private sector coming together to support female entrepreneurs, and I am excited to see
the impact this program will have on the state's startup ecosystem in the years to come.
If you are a female founder in Queensland, I highly recommend checking out this program and seeing if it is a good fit for your business.
Check out the link below.
Who knows - it could be the boost you need to take your startup to the next level! And then maybe a friend will write a blog celebrating