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Female Entrepreneurship & the Post Covid Economic Recovery

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Enterprising Girls Team
Academy For Enterprising Girls

Our mission, here at the Academy for Enterprising Girls, is to build a national movement of female entrepreneurship by developing the mindset, skillset and toolset of Australian girls to create enterprising and innovative careers.

Today’s 13 years olds are the entrepreneurs of the next decade - with the real ability to drive a wave of innovation and economic growth, but only if we invest in their skills right now.

The gender bias experienced by women in entrepreneurship and STEM takes root in girls as young as early high school. The Government has recognised this and taken the first step in co-funding the Academy for Enterprising Girls. In partnership with industry support, this exciting initiative means we are well placed for a new wave of female entrepreneurs to help drive our recovery in the future.

We’ve doing this in 3 key ways.

Firstly - we’ve created an innovative and free online eLearning campus - a virtual Academy where students solve community problems by creating a business enterprise solution using the design thinking process. This process teaches the fundamentals of creative and innovative thinking - essential skills students will need to be the knowledge workers our economy requires, alongside essential business skills in marketing and finance.

In each module students earn mindset badges and skillset shields reflecting the importance of growth mindsets in building creativity, as well as their technical skill development.

Secondly, in 2020 we are delivering more than 100 workshops across the country to provide intensive face-to-face entrepreneurial learning experiences.

And finally, alongside our industry partners, we are helping to drive a national conversation about the importance of Female Entrepreneurship and Women in Business starting at a young age.

Driving economic recovery through women-led businesses

If we want young girls and women to survive and thrive in a post-COVID economic recovery, then there are 4 key stats that tell us why investing in female entrepreneurship has never been more important than it is now.

 

  1. Women, and young women, have been most severely impacted by COVID related job losses. The impact is predicted to be long felt. (Source: ABS Data)
  2. Boosting female entrepreneurs to parity with men would grow the economy by between $75 and $135 billion. (Source: Boston Consulting Group with Cherie Blair Foundation)
  3. Female founder performs 63% better than investments with all-male founding teams. (Source: First Round)
  4. Increasing female workforce participation 6% has the potential to add up to $25 billion to the Australian economy. (Source: Grattan Institute )

Pay equity for highschool girls delayed

The economic reality is that for an 18-year old girl studying for her final school exams in the year of COVID-19, without intervention, we are asking her to wait until she is at least 50, and likely later, for a chance at pay equity with her male peers.

What should happen next?

So, how are we at the Academy for Enterprising Girls playing our part in driving women’s job creation?

We have three goals

  1. We must keep growing the pipeline of high school students armed with the mindset, skillset and toolset to be the entrepreneurs and innovators our economy needs. We will do this by increasing our workshop program to reach more students, investing in resources for teachers, and extending the learning opportunities for students online.
  2. We must focus urgently on how we best support our most recent high school graduates and tertiary education students most severely impacted by COVID job losses. We must help them understand how to make their own jobs where jobs might otherwise not exist. To do this we will require investment to provide training and support.
  3. We must unite the national conversation about women in business and entrepreneurship so that we can make a true impact on job creation. We need a cohesive and far-reaching strategy that builds the bridge from high school students, to the highest levels of venture capital investment and female industry leaders.

We can’t do this alone. It needs many voices to send the message to student, parents, educators and industry that entrepreneurship is not only a solid employment opportunity for women but in fact an essential driver of our economic recovery.

We’d love to have more partners to join us on this mission. If you can help, please contact us. 

To build a lasting culture of female entrepreneurship, together we’ve got to get to work.

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