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Applications open for Kickstarter Challenge

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Chloe Maher
// // 'Accelerator for Enterprising Women' is calling on female entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas...

Are you a female entrepreneur looking to get your business idea off the ground?

Applications are now open for the Accelerator for Enterprising Women’s Kickstarter Challenge. Entries close Sunday 15 October 2023 at 6:00pm (AEDT).

For the second consecutive year, the startup competition is partnering with the Australian Government to give away a share of $60,000 in equity-free funding. The overall winner will walk away with $30,000 in funding, while each finalist will be awarded $7,500 to kickstart their business.

The winner will also receive mentoring opportunities that expand their network within the realm of female entrepreneurship to help turn their business dreams into a reality.

Accelerator for Enterprising Women spokesperson Mim Rizvi said the focus of the program is to break down the financial and confidence-related hurdles often faced by women getting started in business.

We know there are so many smart and capable women in Australia but there are a lot of barriers for women in business, like not enough funding

Mim Rizvi, Accelerator for Enterprising Women spokesperson.

“In our research, we also found confidence to be a big issue for women in business, so the competition is trying to address all of those things in different ways,” Mim said.

Applicants can submit an entry for the following categories, with each finalist being given the opportunity to pitch their idea to a panel of experts and government officials in Canberra at the end of the year:

  • STEM and technology.
  • Health, wellbeing and care economy.
  • Climate change and sustainability.
  • Women’s economic equality.

Each entry will automatically secure a spot in the People’s Choice draw, which will be decided by popular vote.

Taking the crown as last year’s winner, Hailey Brown used the prize money to expand her travel app, Vacayit, an innovative platform offering immersive audio-visual guides tailored to people who are blind or have low vision.  

Applications open for Kickstarter Challenge
2022 Kickstarter Challenge winner Hailey Brown. Photo – Supplied.

Hailey said the prize money played a pivotal role in propelling her product’s development, but the support and networking opportunities were priceless.

 “This opportunity has given us great support when we’ve felt stuck in the business and also the connections we need to work on media releases during the launch of our business,

“It also meant I was lucky enough to go over to the Women Leaders Summit in Cambodia to talk about tourism at a global level, which was really awesome.” Hailey said.

Applications open for Kickstarter Challenge
Hailey Brown (second from the right) and 2022 Kickstarter Challenge finalists. Photo – Supplied.

Hailey encourages fellow female entrepreneurs to submit their entries to this year’s intake.

Getting involved in the competition is a really smart thing to do. Enterprising Women can introduce you to other startups and government officials and offer other really good resources.”

“So regardless if you win or not, it’s a really good way to help conceptualise your idea by putting it on paper.” Hailey said.

Unsure if your pitch is up to scratch? Accelerator for Enterprising Women pitch tutorial and nationwide incubator workshops will help applicants fine-tune their entry before submissions close in mid-October.


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Picture of Chloe Maher

Chloe Maher

Chloe is a third year Journalism student at Curtin University with an interest in the local startup community and creative writing. She is also a newsreader for RTRFM.
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