Female Founders Program applications now open

Monday, 30 August 2021

The contribution of Newcastle’s female entrepreneurs to the city’s innovation ecosystem is poised for growth with the launch of a new support and mentoring program designed to encourage more female-led startups.

Applications are open for the inaugural intake of the Female Founder Program, which is being delivered by the University of Newcastle’s I2N in partnership with the City of Newcastle.

Senior Manager, I2N Operations and Innovation, Siobhan Curran, said the Female Founders Program offered a springboard to empower Newcastle women to navigate their start-up journey with confidence.

“It takes more than a great idea to launch a startup. Business know-how, a strong and supportive professional network, and confidence in yourself and your concept are ‘must-haves’ to succeed,” Ms. Curran said.

Recent research found that startups co-founded by women are reported to have received just 27 percent of venture capital funding in Australia to date in 2021. Additionally, research from the United States by Boston Consulting Group found that when women-led startups do get funded, they ultimately deliver higher revenue — more than twice as much per dollar invested – than those started by men.

“The I2N’s Female Founders Program aims to level the playing field for female innovators and entrepreneurs in the Newcastle region giving participants the necessary skills and access to a network of mentors to jumpstart their startup.”

The free 10-week program focuses on supporting majority female-led startups through tailored mentoring and coaching, startup insight workshops, peer network development, and ongoing support. It will support up to 10 internationally-focused start-ups with high growth potential.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the Female Founders Program contributes to achieving the city’s vision to be a smart, liveable, and sustainable global city by 2030.

“The Female Founders Program supports our focus of empowering every member of Newcastle’s innovation ecosystem to reach their potential, and attract more entrepreneurs to our city to help build a more resilient and diverse economy.”

The University of Newcastle's I2N connects innovators and entrepreneurs to community, customers, coaching, and capital by helping people develop their enterprise skills and impact potential, validate ideas, and accelerate to market.

Applications for the Female Founders Program are open until 19 September.

For more information including eligibility and application details visit www.newcastle.edu.au/ffp.

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