Female salon owners keen to secure funding for their business should be aware that round 2 of the Boosting Female Founders Initiative is taking nominations Astons and entries for consideration.

The program will provide targeted support on a co-contribution basis to female founders of startup businesses – including salons. The program will also provide expert mentoring and advice to meritorious applicants. The Australian Government has announced a total of $52.2 million in grant funding for this program. For Round 2, an estimated $11.6 million in grant funding is available.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • stimulate private sector investments into innovative startups led by women
  • help women entrepreneurs overcome the disadvantages faced in getting access to finance and support to grow their startups
  • enable female founders to scale-up, expand into domestic and global markets, and become self-sufficient
  • boost the economy through increasing the diversity of startup founders.

The grants will be available on a co-contribution basis. All eligible applicants can apply for a grant between $25,000 and $400,000. If you meet additional eligibility criteria as detailed in the grant opportunity guidelines, you can apply for a grant of between $25,000 and $480,000.

The grant amount will be up to 50% of eligible project costs – unless you can meet additional requirements (see the grant opportunity guidelines for further information).

You are responsible for the remaining eligible project expenditure plus any ineligible expenditure. Contributions to your project must be cash. You are encouraged to seek contributions from private investors and industry partners.

The grant opportunity will be delivered through a two-stage competitive selection process due to the expected high demand for this program. You will first apply via an Expression of Interest (EOI). If successful, you will be invited to submit a Stage Two grant application.

Eligibility

To be eligible you must be a female founded (majority owned and led by women) startup as defined in the grant opportunity guidelines.

You must also have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and be one of the following entities:

  • an entity incorporated in Australia
  • a partnership
  • a sole trader.

We can only accept applications where you:

  • provide a signed declaration, on the template provided, that your startup is female founded (majority owned and led by women)
  • certify that your startup will remain majority owned and led by women for the duration of the grant (this will be a requirement of the grant agreement)
  • include all mandatory attachments.

Where you are applying for greater than 50% grant percentage (up to 70%), you must provide evidence to support that one or more of the following applies:

  • your head office is located in a regional area
  • your business is an Indigenous business or at least one of your founding team members is an Indigenous Australian
  • at least one of your founding team members (owners and leaders) is a person with a disability
  • at least one of your founding team members (owners and leaders) has migrated to Australia as a refugee or humanitarian entrant.

If you are successful in the EOI stage and are invited to apply for Stage Two, you must also provide:

  • evidence to support your source of funding (e.g. letter from contributor/s confirming funding amount)
  • a pitch deck (PDF or PowerPoint presentation max 10 slides) and/or link to a video pitch from your CEO (no longer than 5 mins) supporting your response to the assessment criteria
  • business financial documents including your most current profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow statement
  • a business plan, including revenue model, customer acquisition and company/management structure, scope, implementation methodology, timeframes, budget, risks and how you will measure the success of the project
  • a trust deed (where applicable).

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