Female founders taking their businesses global

From women launching start-ups, to those expanding established businesses, South Australia’s female founders are increasingly taking their businesses interstate and globally. New initiatives, programs and resources are making this possible, however there are two main gaps – investment and a scaling up program that suits.

Even though there are many successful start-up stories, the topic of scaling is not often publicly talked about. In a recent Chooks SA article, members discussed the value of going into detail on how success is reached, rather than just talking about lessons learned.

What’s needed is more of a step-by-step approach that takes women through how they scaled up. Suggestions were made that included leveraging inbound delegations to the state, building networks with investors locally and internationally, and learning about similar business models (and the different approaches). Connecting with sister city friends, other entrepreneurs and female founder networks are also key recommendations.

A good place to start is to explore the existing initiatives out there, designed at helping women succeed in their businesses

Give your business an international ticket  

Female Founders Fund is an early-stage fund investing in the exponential power of exceptional female talent. The four-month program is for female founders who are looking to take their successful business to the next level. Some of the learning outcomes include reconnecting with purpose, the ideal client, selling and pitching, finance and investment, and scaling.

In an effort to boost females launching technology companies, the Founder Institute began introducing fellowships to top female applicants. This program led to an immediate 60% increase in female graduates. This year, the program has partnered with Girls in Tech, a global non-profit focused on the engagement, education and empowerment of passionate women in tech.

MergeLane invests time and money into start-ups with at least one woman in leadership, and The Refinery is working on reshaping the world’s perceptions about women CEOs. Their Winter Boost program drives the growth of women-led companies by connecting them to over 80 mentors, advisors and investors.

A virtual collaborative accelerator for women entrepreneurs, the Circular Board helps overcome questions of purpose, establishing partnerships and accessing capital. After the 12-week program, women become part of the Alumni Circle, with rotating peer advisory boards for ongoing accountability.

X Squared Angels Group invests in women-led start-ups. The group promotes the financial effectiveness of gender diverse management business teams and invests in early-stage companies in: IT, software, bioscience, advanced materials and medical devices. Typically, an X Squared Angels portfolio company will have a female founder and CEO.

The EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women program helps business owners increase national visibility for their companies among corporate executives, investors and the media. The education program identifies a select group of high-potential, women entrepreneurs whose businesses show real potential to scale, giving them the tools to do it.

Focused on creating gender-equal entrepreneurial ecosystems, Women Who Launch empower female founders, funders or tem members through support networks.

It’s a well-known fact that there are still drastically fewer women in top jobs both in Australia and across the world. These companies are setting the scene to redefine the next generation of diverse founders – females.

If you’re a female founder launching or already running a business like me, with an interest in a global network, please contact Wendy Perry at wendy@workforceblueprint.com.au.

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