Meet the women-led startups that secured Boosting Female Founders funding, and their share of $12 million

Neighbourlytics

Neighbourlytics co-founders Jessica Christiansen-Franks and Lucinda Hartley. Source: supplied.

The federal government has dished out a total of $12 million in grant funding to women-led businesses, through its Boosting Female Founders Initiative.

Some 51 startups have each received grants of between $25,000 and $480,000.

Successful startups include Arula, which 3D prints personalised breast prosthesis, and is headed up by first-time founder and 22-year-old Steph Weiss.

Indigenous-designed digital skills startup Indigital has also bagged a significant grant of almost $460,000, and period pain prevention startup Ovira has secured $400,000.

Other familiar faces include She’s A Crowd, Parent TV, Verve Super, Neighbourlytics, Mentorloop and Bring Me Home.

The matched-funding scheme is intended to stimulate women’s participation in entrepreneurship, helping them build sustainable and successful businesses, and ultimately leading to job creation.

Piloted in 2020 with a budget of $18 million, the scheme was expanded in this year’s budget, with an additional $35.9 million pledged over the next five years.

“The road from business idea to global product is already a tough one. But we know female-founded startups face even greater challenges in getting the finance needed to reach their full potential,” Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said in a statement.

“If we don’t capitalise on great business ideas from half of the population, Australia’s startup and innovation ecosystems will only be half as good as they could be,” she added.

But the scheme has attracted some criticism for its strict eligibility criteria and tight definition of what constitutes a ‘women-led’ business.

The scheme requires a startup to be at least 50% owned by women, and 50% of the founding team or senior management must be women.

This means that a business with one woman and one man co-founder would be eligible. But, if it had secured any equity funding from a male investor, it would not be.

Some women founders expressed disappointment in the eligibility criteria, suggesting that rather than breaking down a barrier, it creates another one.

On the other hand, others support the restrictions, saying having an all-women founding team puts a startup at more of a disadvantage when seeking funding.

Whatever your take on the scheme, cash for 51 women-led businesses can only be a good thing. Here’s the full list of grant recipients.

Health

Akin Australia
Arula
Aubot
Episoft
Eugene Labs
Fitmind
Gutbiome
Health Management
Navbit
Ovira
uPaged

HR

Beam Flex
Rejig

Food

Bring Me Home
Nip of Courage
Noosa Cold Brew
Nourish Foods

Hospitality and tourism

Discodtours
Looplearn

Software

Catalyser
Neighbourlytics
STLP Consulting

Education

Champion Life Education
Cleverbean
Edufolios
PeopleBench
HowToo
Indigital
Mentorloop
Parent TV
Speaking in Colour
Thefootnotes

Construction and manufacturing

Ecokit
Mantikor Tradie Mate
Tekuma

Crafts

For The Makers

Logistics

Freight Exchange
Share with Oscar
Woolcool Australia (Planet Protector Packaging)

Finance

HiCom Accounting
Surepact
Verve Superannuation

Sport

Ida Sports

Pets

K9 Weight Challenge
Laila And Me

Environment and community

Leakster
Place Score
She’s A Crowd

Childcare and products for parents

Milkdrop
Motherhood

Marketing and social media

The Photo Diner Australia — Flaunter

Learn more about the 51 businesses here.

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