Miles Government support for innovative Queensland women

Published Friday, 08 March, 2024 at 01:30 PM

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Innovation
The Honourable Leanne Linard

  • The Miles Government is supporting innovative women to grow their innovation-driven businesses by opening two grant programs under its Backing Female Founders initiative
  • Applications are now open for the Accelerating Female Founders Program, which provides grants to fund business support initiatives for female-led enterprises in both early-stage and later-stage startup phases of the next two years
  • Applications are also open for the Female Founders Co-Investment Fund, the eligibility for which has been expanded to enable even more innovative women-led organisations receive funding support during the investment-raising stage

Innovative Queensland women looking to launch or grow their innovation-driven businesses can now apply for funding under two programs designed to back our state’s enterprising female founders.

To mark International Women’s Day, the Miles Government has opened applications for the second round of the Accelerating Female Founders program.

The program provides funding grants of between $50,000 and $200,000 for business support initiatives, such as mentoring and advocacy support and customised business development activities, for female-led enterprises in both early-stage and later-stage startup phases over the next two years.

The first round of the program, launched in February 2023, is well underway with 11 funded organisations currently delivering a diverse range of business support activities to almost 500 women across Queensland.

Applications have also opened for funding under the Female Founders Co-Investment Fund, the eligibility requirements for which have been expanded to allow even more innovative women-led organisations to apply for support during the investment raising stage.

Statistically, startup companies founded and led by women attract less investment capital than those led by men.

The Female Founders Co-Investment Fund provides grants of between $50,000 and $200,000 to female founded and led businesses that are approaching new investors as part of their early-stage capital raise.

The updated guidelines reflect feedback received from both female founders and investors, to make it more accessible and easier to navigate, and open up eligibility to even more women.

The first two recipients of the Female Founders Co-Investment Fund were Dr Jeni Wellington, Founder of Annuo MedTech, and Ashley Hanger, Founder of Stripped Supply – both innovative startups in the MedTech field looking to improve the healthcare industry.

Dr Wellington’s company received $86,666 to develop a global healthcare networking platform for people living with chronic diseases, while Ms Hanger’s company received $116,000 to develop Australia’s first diabetes digital toolkit to empower patient self-management.

Quotes attributable to Innovation Minister , Leanne Linard:

“The Miles Labor Government is proud to back Queensland’s female innovators and entrepreneurs.

“Female entrepreneurs are the fastest growing category of entrepreneurship in the world but raising capital is a difficult process for the average startup, and unfortunately, it is even more so for women-led companies.

“By supporting more women to participate in the Queensland innovation ecosystem through our $8 million Backing Female Founders initiative, our vision for making Queensland a leading and sustainable, world-class innovation economy is on track.

Quotes attributed to Ms Ashley Hanger, Founder of Stripped Supply and recipient of the Female Founders Co-Investment Fund:

“Receiving the Female Founders Co-Investment Fund was a pivotal moment in our journey, amplifying our capacity to improve the health outcomes and patient experience of the 1.5 million Australians living with diabetes.

“This Fund not only fuels our ambitions, but reaffirms the crucial role women play in driving innovation and economic growth. We are honoured to be recognised, and are committed to continue making impactful strides towards equality in patient healthcare and the startup ecosystem."

Quotes attributed to Ms Umar Nguyen, Founder of Platinum Provedore and participant in the Accelerating Female Founders Program:

“The program was a massive eye opener and is a great journey for female founders, especially those in smaller businesses who don’t always have time to work on their roadmap and the benefits of embracing technology.

“This greater business understanding has given me the courage to explore building an app for my business that will allow greater reach, and highlighted the importance of mitigating risk, such as protecting intellectual properly.”

Further information:

Both the Accelerating Female Founders program and the Female Founders Co-Investment Fund are key priorities under the Advance Queensland’s $8 million Backing Female Founders Initiative which supports the growth of female-led innovative enterprises no matter where they are in their business development cycle, where they are located, or what their business ambitions are.

Learn more about the Backing Female Founders program:


Media contact: Scott Chandler – (07) 3719 7339