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MEDIA RELEASE: SA girls first graduates of new entrepreneurial workshop

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Enterprising Girls Team
Academy for Enterprising Girls

A group of budding female business leaders will today graduate from a new entrepreneurial workshop, the first of more than 100 to tour the country this year.
Over 46 students from Adelaide’s Heathfield High School have been participating in the government-backed program where 13 to 17-year-olds are using problem-solving and design thinking to turn an issue in their local community into a business opportunity.

Across the two and a half-day workshop led by not-for-profit Young Change Agents, students have been validating their ideas, developing a business model, building and testing a prototype and delivering a pitch.

Academy For Enterprising Girls Director Annie O’Rourke says South Australia’s young people are leading the charge when it comes to entrepreneurialism.
“The world’s largest study of entrepreneurship ​estimated that 9.6 per cent of young South Australians were actively engaged in starting or running new businesses compared with only 7.6 per cent across Australia1,” said Ms O’Rourke.

“Despite this promising research, what we’re finding is that girls ​are at an increased risk of being locked out of our fastest-growing occupations due to a divide in the number of them studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM subjects) compared to boys.”

While STEM-based jobs make up 75 per cent of the fastest-growing occupations, innovations and higher-paying jobs, currently only 17 per cent of graduates in STEM courses are women.

Heathfield High School is one of five Entrepreneurial schools in South Australia and boasts a world standard STEM Centre for learning, innovation and excellence, as well as an Advanced Technologies Robotics and Control Technologies Centre featuring robotics equipment, CNC mills and 3D printers.
Academy for Enterprising Girls workshops will also take place next month at Mount Gambier and Murray Bridge High Schools, before touring other parts of the country.

About the Academy for Enterprising Girls

The Academy for Enterprising Girls - supported by COSBOA and delivered through the Australian Government’s Future Female Entrepreneurs Program - is aimed at helping more young women harness future career opportunities by helping them to develop their enterprise skills, and learn design thinking. It has been co-designed by over 160 Australian girls who have helped ensure the program will speak to them.

The Academy for Enterprising Girls involves two elements. The first is a digital platform offering engaging videos and content for girls to show them how to become an entrepreneur, featuring some of Australia’s most successful businesswomen.

The second is a self-paced eLearning platform and national workshop program for girls to develop their entrepreneurial skills with a focus on STEM. Girls will learn about design thinking, business development and have fun along the way!

The Academy for Enterprising Girls is funded under the Australian Government's $3.6 million Future Female Entrepreneurs Program and supported by some of the world’s most successful tech companies including Amazon, Canva, Cisco, Google and Atlassian.

The program also features some of Australia’s leading businesswomen including Mamamia’s & LadyStart Up Founder Mia Freedman, Future Women’s Helen McCabe, celebrated Indigenous tech entrepreneur Mikeala Jade of Indigital and Youtube star, Georgia Productions.

The program is consistent with the ​Women in STEM Decadal Plan​ which aims to attract more women and girls to STEM and provide an environment for them to thrive and progress.

About Young Change Agents

Young Change Agents is a delivery partner for the Academy for Enterprising Girls and will be hosting a number of the workshops around Australia in 2020. Young Change Agents runs programs that provide students with the tools to think creatively, build skills in critical thinking and communication and empowers them to believe that they are good enough to be entrepreneurs, leaders and world-changers.

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