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Australia Opens Second Phase of Grants for the Boosting Female Founders Initiative

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Round 2 of the Boosting Female Founders Initiative is now open. The program offers co-contributor grants up to $400,000 for start-ups that are majority-owned and led by women.

The Boosting Female Founders (BFF) Initiative began in 2020 to support women entrepreneurs to help grow and scale their start-ups into domestic and global markets by providing access to early-stage capital. Expressions of interest (EOIs) for round 2 are now open.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • Stimulate private sector investments into innovative start-ups led by women;
  • Help women entrepreneurs overcome the disadvantages faced in getting access to finance and support to grow their start-ups;
  • Enable female founders to scale-up, expand into domestic and global markets, and become self-sufficient; and
  • Boost the economy through increasing the diversity of star-tup founders.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said: “Female entrepreneurs are under-represented in our innovation and technology sectors, often because they face greater obstacles in getting early-stage finance.”

The program provides grants of between $25,000 and $400,000 on a co-contribution basis to successful applicants and is open to majority-owned and led by women. If you meet additional eligibility criteria as detailed in the grant opportunity guidelines, you can apply for a grant of between $25,000 and $480,000.

The Initiative was announced as part of the 2018 Women’s Economic Security Statement and expanded under the 2020 Women’s Economic Security Statement. In total, it will provide $52.2 million of competitive grant funding plus $1.8 million in mentoring services from 2020–2021 to 2024–25.

Approximately $11.6 million in grant funding is available for Round 2. The Australian Government announced a total of $52.2 million for the program.

Andrews said: “The first round of the Boosting Female Founders Initiative saw more than 50 female-founded and led businesses to share in nearly $12 million to scale up, create new jobs and take on new markets.

“In the second round, we are providing a further $11.6 million in funding while also expanding the program to offer expert mentoring and advice for eligible candidates.”

Additional support is available for under-represented groups, including women founders from regional or remote locations, who identify as Indigenous Australians; migrated as a refugee or humanitarian entrant, or have a disability.

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