Boss Babe! Fempreneur! Mother Hustlers! Whatever you want to call them, there’s no denying that the number of women launching, running, and owning their own businesses, is trending quicker than a Kourtney Kardashian + Travis Barker Instagram pic. Which we love, actually! Honestly, there’s not a whole lot that excites us more than seeing strong, empowered chicks kicking their goals while we cheer them along on the sideline.
The teensy problem with this sitch … Sometimes, your awesome, amazing, gonna-make-millionaire idea, needs a little moolah to get off the ground.
While begging, borrowing, or stealing are all options (although we do suggest you avoid the last if you’re not confident you’ll look good in prison gear), there is another alternative if you don’t have the cash upfront or would rather avoid taking out a business or credit card loan.
Enter left of stage: Support programs and grants for female business owners. Essentially, free money and services that you do not have to pay back, a number of private organisations and Australian government bodies offer this option to aspiring entrepreneurs.
The catch: Competition for them is high and generally requires applicants to meet strict criteria. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? (We bet T Barker, was thinking the same thing when we took his shot with Kourt?). So if you think you fit some of the criteria – namely – 1) Are a female 2) with a business who 3) needs a grant, read on and see if any of the below could apply to you.
Grants for female business owners in QLD
Ahh, the sunshine state: Home to good beaches, really Great Barrier Reefs and Gold Coasts with meter maids in matching golden bikinis. Oh, and for the next three weeks, an opportunity for brilliant, female business owners based in Brisbane to apply for a financial grant.
Accepting applications from right now till December 9th, the newly launched Lord Mayor’s Women’s in Business Grant offers an opportunity for women to secure $5000 grants to help them grow and develop their business in response to the impact of COVID 19. Eligible businesses can use the funds to build their biz or invest in professional services.
To be eligible, you need:
- An active Australian Business Number (ABN), and to be registered in Queensland
- Headquarters/business outlets based in the Brisbane Local Government Area (LGA) and be able to provide proof of location (utility bills, rates notices, etc)
- To be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
- To be a woman in business with a minimum of 50% ownership of the business.
- To be over 18 years of age (proof of ID is required) at time of application
- A business that has been operating/trading for 12 months prior to the date of grant opening and demonstrate more than 1 client
- To not be insolvent or have owners/directors that are an undischarged bankrupt
- An annual turnover between $50,00 and $500,000
Apply at www.businessinbrisbane.com.au
Grants for female business owners in NSW
Anything QLD can do, NSW can do better. (Well except for that eight-year period where the maroons totally owned the blues in the State of Origin rugby league, but let’s not talk about that). So when it comes to offering grants for female business owners, The Harbour City and its surroundings present some pretty enticing options.
One of the best we found was the Women in Business program – a NSW Government and TAFE NSW initiative that offers a fully subsidised online program for eligible women who are looking to establish a micro-business, a small business, or who are already operating a business.
To be eligible to register in the Women in Business program, you must:
- Be aged 18 years or over
- Identify as female
- Be establishing or own a business, with a valid ABN; registered or trading in NSW; with 0-199 employees
- Living or working in NSW
- Be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, humanitarian visa holder, or New Zealand Citizen.
If approved, in exchange, you will receive
- 24/7 online access to digital education topics covering the latest trends in businesses and tailored to your specific needs
- Access to interviews with Australia’s leading female entrepreneurs
- Invitations to attend local networking events
- Connections to services designed to support small businesses (such as Business Concierge – a free and dedicated service offered through Service NSW to help you open your business and Business Connect – a dedicated and personalised NSW Government program that provides trusted advice to help you start or grow your small business.)
- An acknowledgment of achievements through TAFE NSW digital badges – You’ll earn a digital badge upon completion of each online topic, and you can add these to your LinkedIn profile to promote your new skills.
Apply at www.tafensw.edu.au
Grants for female business owners in VIC
Not to be outdone by either of its northern neighbours, Victoria is coming to the party wearing a chic oversized slouchy black blazer and channeling its typically cool progressive vibes.
Leading the charge for the provision of grants for female business owners in The Garden State is the Victorian Women’s Trust. Well known for its ongoing financial support for women in business they have been empowering female business owners for more than 35 years!
In 2021-22, the Victorian Women’s Benevolent Trust has fifteen Sub-Funds open for grants.
The Sub-Funds provide small grants to eligible organisations for innovative programs for Victorian women and girls that directly address the purposes of each Sub-Fund, with support ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the Sub-Fund.
Apply at www.vwt.org.au
Grants for other Australian female business owners
While applications have currently closed, the Australian Government’s Boosting Female Founders Initiative is available to help female entrepreneurs across the country overcome the disadvantages faced in getting access to finance and support to grow their startups. Contact them on 13 28 46 to find out when they are next open to applicants.
Alternatively, to find out more about business grants, programs and services in your state visit www.businessaustralia.com and register your details.