More Australian girls will now be equipped with the skills and opportunities needed to start their own businesses thanks to a $5 million pledge over three years to expand the Academy for Enterprising Girls, as announced in last night’s federal budget as part of the Women’s Economic Security Statement.
Funding for the Academy for Enterprising Girls will enable young women, including those in rural and remote communities, to build career pathways and create employment opportunities in the digital economy.
The announcement was welcomed by the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) who received the grant.
“Small business employs almost half of all workers in Australia so it's critical for jobs that we continue to grow the pipeline of entrepreneurs,” said COSBOA CEO Peter Strong.
Today young women from across Sydney will get a taste of the startup life with the opportunity to create their own business idea thanks to a free entrepreneurial workshop.
The female students aged 10 to 18 years will learn how to budget, market and manage their own company, paving the way for the next generation of female business founders.
“This workshop is about investing in tomorrow's leaders to ensure more small businesses get off the ground and thrive into the future,” Peter Strong said.
The one-day workshop hosted by the Academy for Enterprising Girls, an initiative funded by the Federal Government’s Office for Women, will see young women develop a business concept with the opportunity to pitch it to a judging panel of experts at the end of the workshop.
COVID-19 has negatively impacted many of the country’s 2.3 million small businesses, with 13 percent of jobs lost between the start of March and the end of April and revenue down 11 percent in April compared to a year ago according to Xero Small Business Insights data.
“The NSW government is proud to host this event in the Sydney Startup Hub. It’s exactly what this hub was designed for, future job creation and innovation,” said NSW Small Business Minister Damien Tudehope.
Challenging the girls to think big and utilise their design thinking and enterprising skills will be workshop facilitators from the social enterprise Young Change Agents.
“Today’s workshop theme is Future of the World, where girls will be encouraged to think about ways to reduce their environmental impact, exploring topics such as food waste, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and using our water resources better. It’s an incredible opportunity for young women to develop their entrepreneurial mindset, skillset and toolset whilst exploring real-world problems,” said CEO and founder of Young Change Agents Margaret O’Brien.
A recent STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Workforce Report found that women make up just 29% and 8% of the university and VET STEM-qualified labour force respectively. Enterprise education such as the Academy for Enterprising Girls aim to help narrow this gap by showing how STEM skills can be applied to real-world problems.
Address: Sydney Startup Hub - Level 1, 11 York Street, Sydney 2001
Media Opportunity: 10:30am - 11:30am
Interviews: COSBOA CEO Peter Strong, NSW Small Business Commissioner Chris Lamont, students taking part in the workshop
Media contact: Miriam Rizvi - 0415 738 288
 https://www.xero.com/small-business-insights/xero-data-uncovers-covid-impact-on-small-businesses-as-recession-lands/  https://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-07/australias_stem_workforce_-_final.pdf