Looking for business grants in 2021?  If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, cash flow and access to capital (including grants) are always a challenge. For women in business the road is even harder,  ‘swimming upstream’ against gender bias and lack of support. A 2017 StartupAUS Crossroads report found that only 4% of startups have an all-female founding team and as few as 15% have at least one female founder. Yet organisations with gender-balanced leadership show better financial performance, access the widest talent and skill pool available to them, and are more responsive to clients and broader stakeholders.

Small Business Grants

Women in Queensland (or should we say ‘the world’?) are underrepresented in decision-making and leadership roles. Fortunately, the Australian Government is increasingly recognising the need to invest in innovation despite of gender, offering a number of initiatives, including business grants designed to help female founders at different stages of the entrepreneurial lifecycle.

Female Founders Impact Program

Instead of financial assistance, the grant offers development activities designed to increase the participation rates and business skills of women and girls in Queensland completely FREE.

Who? Female founders who are:

  • Starting out or have a good business idea/concept but need to work on their business skills and capability
  • Looking for mentors
  • Wanting to attend networking events
  • Getting ready to establish an advisory board
  • Seeking connection with a community of female founders

What? Events & Webinars, Learning Links, Mentor Match, Personalised Pathways.

When? Applications open 1 January 2021.

Personalised Pathways is a government funded grant to help you navigate incubators, private and public accelerator programs, grants, government support, paid and free subject matter specific programs by providing personalised support through a 1-hour consultation with experts in commercialisation, innovation and business management.

Apply for Personalised Pathways!             

Mentor Match Program is designed to help you on your journey to grow and scale your business. You are assigned a mentor and work with them over the course of three 1-hour sessions.

 Apply for Mentor Match!

Note: To be eligible for Personalised Pathways or Mentor Match you must have a business that is registered in Queensland and have been operating for a minimum of 12 months with turnover of at least $25,000.00. For the purposes of this program, turnover can include revenue, grants, crowdfunding etc.

SPARK Female Founders Program

A 12-month program providing female-led startups access to business support, first-rate mentors, sales and marketing strategies and a renowned global influencer marketing analytics and education platform.

Who? Female founders, co-founders, owners or directors who have:

  • Held positions in their business for at least 12 months
  • Registered their business for an ABN and GST
  • Operated for a minimum of 12 months
  • Secured investor funding of at least $200,000 and/or have a minimum turnover of $150,000 for the last financial year
  • Evidence that their business is unique, innovative and/or technology focussed

What? Monthly training sessions, Q&A, resources, bespoke insights, free 12-month access to the Scrunch influencer marketing platform.

When? Applications for this business grant are now closed. To learn about the 25 female founders currently in the 2020 cohort or check out upcoming registration dates, get in touch via email at spark@scrunch.com

Investing in Queensland Women Grant

A one-off funding sum of $15,000 (excluding GST) for initiatives with a duration of up to 6 months delivered in Queensland.

Who? Community groups and organisations across Queensland

What? The funds must be used to develop and deliver initiatives that align with the Queensland Government’s strategic priorities for women and address the unique issues faced by women and girls.

When? Round 1: Applications open 4 February 2021 and close 5 March 2021. Round 2: Applications open 1 July 2021 and close 31 July 2021.

Apply for Round 1 

Final thoughts

Not sure where to start? Reach out to the growing online community of entrepreneurs for support at the Queensland Innovation Hub – QiHub led by Advance Queensland and the Office of the Chief Entrepreneur, Leanne Kemp.

“No matter what stage of the entrepreneurial journey you are on, from idea to scale up, QiHub is your space to share a win, find a new collaboration or funding opportunity, see what events are coming up, and even post or find jobs. It’s really exciting to see hundreds of profiles already up and running – the more we connect, the better the platform works, so what are you waiting for? See you on QiHub!” says Dr Sarah Pearson, Queensland’s Deputy Director-General of Innovation.

Good luck! And remember – just keep going.