Australian female entrepreneurs to get a boost through Springboard funding

Springboard Enterprises is on the hunt for Australia’s most promising women-led growth companies to join its global business accelerator program, with applications opening yesterday.


The not-for-profit program to start women in business launched in Australia in May and has created thousands of jobs and generated $US5 billion in capital worldwide.


Australian applications opened for the first time yesterday and close on December 15, 2012.


Springboard Australia’s chair, Wendy Simpson, told SmartCompany some of the most prominent investors in Australia are now on board to work with Springboard Australia, including Investec, One Ventures, Starfish Ventures, Foundry, Right Click Capital, Anacacia Capital and AFG Venture Group.


“What these investors have agreed to do is help coach the women to understand how to present your business from the perspective of an investor, those are the Australian investors and we will announce the American investors in the next couple of weeks,” Simpson says.


She says some of Australia’s best-connected leaders will join with Springboard USA’s entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts to deliver “unparalleled support” to the Australian companies selected.


“The exciting thing about Springboard is that it brings together the investment community and the entrepreneurial community and what we found was traditionally women entrepreneurs had difficulty accessing the investment community,” Simpson says.


“There’s a theory around town that the best deals are not pitched; they are generally investors saying to entrepreneurs, ‘in your next deal we will back you’, and that is generally men recruiting men.”


Paul Gooley, Springboard board member and head of corporate finance at program sponsor Grant Thornton says his firm is proud to be involved.


“Raising investment capital for these types of ventures is crucial in developing world class leading edge businesses that will be the drivers of economic activity in the future, and we look forward to providing insight and assistance to these women entrepreneurs to achieve their growth objectives,” Gooley said in a statement released yesterday.


For more stories about women in business, go to our sister site Women’s Agenda — where professional women achieve.This story first appeared on SmartCompany.


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