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Academy for Enterprising Girls officially launched at Parliament House

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Enterprising Girls Team
Academy for Enterprising Girls

The Academy for Enterprising Girls has been officially launched at Parliament House in Canberra by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, with the help of more than 40 girls from six local schools who started the day by meeting the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Minister for Women and Foreign Affairs Marise Payne.

The girls were among the first to go through the Academy for Enterprising Girls workshop hosted by Questacon yesterday, where they had an opportunity to collaborate, and use problem solving and design thinking to come up with a brand new business idea. And practised for the pitch-fest.

They headed up to Parliament House to meet Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the Treasurer and other senior MPs, and pitch their amazing business ideas to an esteemed panel of industry experts and policymakers at our official launch!

All of the politicians and business leaders were super impressed with the ideas put forward by these #enterprisinggirls.

Treasurer with Enterprising Girls

Their fantastic ideas focused around mental health and community needs. Some of the ideas included community members booking a space through an app to eat with residents of aged-care centres to provide companionship (Feasty Friends), a website to link students’ passion with expertise and career advice and a concept of connecting kids in regional areas with other isolated kids for company and tutoring.

Thanks to all our supporters and partners who came along to the launch. A special thank you to the Australian Government, COSBOA, and our expert panel - Jodi Phillips (Amazon Web Services Program Manager), Lucinda Longcroft (Google ANZ Head of Corporate Affairs), Kristi Mansfield (Seer Data CEO), Margaret O’Brien (Young Change Agents CEO) and Paul Frasca (Sustainable Salons CEO).

It was a great day and an amazing way to launch a program that aims to encourage more young women to develop the confidence and resilience to come up with their own ideas and run with them!

Girls Pitch at AEG Launch

The Academy for Enterprising Girls is now live, and in 2020 we are looking forward to the roll out of our online e-Learning program and in-person workshops, which will be delivered across the country throughout the year. We will keep you updated on the program as it’s locked in.

The Academy for Enterprising Girls is all about ensuring more young women harness future career opportunities by being able to develop enterprise and design thinking skills.

By encouraging more girls to develop enterprise skills we not only give women greater economic security and a pathway into the future workforce, but support Australia’s economic growth as well.

Young women risk being left behind in the modern economy without access to education in ‘enterprise skills’, like problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork and digital literacy and skills in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Enterprising Girls in Great Hall

We know employers are looking for workers with these enterprise skills to qualify for positions that pay higher salaries. Developing these transferable skills in today’s school-age girls is the focus of the Academy for Enterprising Girls program.

“We know enterprise skills will be critical in the future economy. More and more jobs are demanding enterprise skills, yet girls are being left behind,” said Academy for Enterprising Girls spokesperson Annie O’Rourke.

“Businesses founded by women are still underrepresented, and there are fewer female-led businesses starting, scaling and securing finance.

“By encouraging more girls to develop enterprise skills we not only give women greater economic security and a pathway into the future workforce, but support Australia’s economic growth as well.”

The program is funded by the Australian Government and backed by an industry alliance led by small business advocate COSBOA. It is supported by matched in-kind contributions of online subscriptions and expertise from private sector partners including tech companies Amazon Web Services, Canva, Google, and Cisco. (See the full Industry Alliance here>>).

Working with entrepreneurship and STEM education experts such as Young Change Agents, Tech Girls Movement, Foundation for Young Australians, Code Like a Girl and Questacon, the program aims to reach up to 50,000 girls across Australia.

Female-led enterprises, Sustainable Salons and Seer Data & Analytics, will also contribute practical tools to girls to pursue their own social enterprises and harness the power of data for their communities.

COSBOA CEO Peter Strong said it was important for more young women to see female business leaders and be inspired by them.

“Through the Academy for Enterprising Girls, young women will get access to amazing advice, a free e-learning program and workshops that are designed to support them to confidently develop their entrepreneurial skills and mindset, and understand what it takes to start your own business.

“COSBOA is proud to lead this program because it’s really important for young women to get practical experience - to learn through doing - when it comes to starting your own business or becoming an entrepreneur.”

Keep checking back to this website and make sure you and your friends are registered for the Academy and our e-newsletters. That way you'll be the first to know when the e-learning modules are live and where the workshops will be taking place.

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