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Advance Queensland Accelerating Female Founders Program

QLD Accelerating Female Founders Program

  • Applications for Round 2 will remain open until 15 April 2024.
  • Applicant organisations can access funding ranging from $50,000 to $200,000 to implement business support initiatives for female founders in Queensland.

The Accelerating Female Founders Program (AFFP) allocates funds to organisations to create and implement business support programs tailored for inventive female founders.
The AFFP's objectives include funding organisations to develop tailored business support programs for Queensland-based enterprises founded and led by women. It seeks to aid female founders in expanding their innovative ventures across different industries by providing access to customised support, irrespective of their business lifecycle stage or location. Additionally, the program aims to enhance the participation of female founders from Queensland in the state's innovation ecosystem.

Key Requirements

The AFFP will finance organisations to provide business support initiatives to female founders of Innovation Driven Enterprises (IDEs) in Queensland.

These initiatives should concentrate on assisting female founders engaged in innovative ventures, such as startups and scaleups with significant growth potential, in advancing their IDEs to the next level. They should facilitate networking, access to opportunities, and long-term impact beyond the program’s duration. Applications proposing initiatives targeting specific industries or technologies are encouraged.

The business support initiatives aim to help Queensland female founders progress their IDEs, encourage connections, and access opportunities that have lasting effects on both the founders and their businesses. Examples of such initiatives include, but are not limited to, incubators, pre-accelerators, accelerators, business acumen development for startups and scaleups, and mentoring and advocacy. The applicant organisation is responsible for executing these initiatives for Queensland female founders of IDEs according to the provided definitions.

Applications that propose initiatives tailored to the following diversity groups will receive high consideration: Indigenous communities, regional areas, youth aged 18–25, or those incorporating diversity targets within the entire participant cohort, ensuring provisions for inclusion and increased participation.

Applicant organisations can access funding ranging from $50,000 to $200,000 (excluding GST) for delivering business support initiatives to female founders in Queensland. These initiatives must be completed within a maximum of 24 months from the contract’s execution, if approved.
Applicant organisations are limited to submitting one application per program round. This application must focus on one of the following two categories and associated business support initiatives:
  • Category 1: Early Stage – comprising components like:
    • Incubator or pre-accelerator programs, providing short-term growth opportunities covering areas such as product development, customer and sales support, networking, pitch events, mentorship, and investment prospects.
    • Startup business development, offering insights into customer identification, acquisition, and retention, investment readiness, marketing, scalability, competitor analysis, governance, board management, and networking.
    • Mentoring and advocacy, facilitating one-on-one sessions between Queensland female founders and expert mentors to foster business growth and access to investment networks.
  • Category 2: Later Stage – including components such as:
    • Accelerator programs, designed for rapid and sustainable growth, focusing on business strategy, operations, investor pitching, metrics, sales, marketing, and partnerships.
    • Scaleup business development, addressing areas like expanding into new markets, scaling manufacturing, strategic planning, global expansion, financial management, partnerships, and networking.
    • Mentoring and advocacy, connecting Queensland female founders with seasoned mentors for personalized guidance in scaling their businesses and accessing investment networks.

What is eligible for funding?

The expenditure of the AFFP grant funding must be directly related to delivering and, where necessary, modifying the business support initiatives.

Eligible costs fall into the following categories:

  • covering full or subsidised costs for Queensland female founders’ participation in the business support initiative, where applicable
  • staffing costs for designing, modifying, and delivering the business support initiative
  • procurement of resource materials and other reasonable expenses associated with delivering the initiative, such as venue hire for workshops, event delivery costs, and catering (e.g., light refreshments for morning and afternoon tea and a working lunch)
  • providing return economy class airfares, subsidising accommodation (up to $200 per night), and covering reasonable transport expenses to facilitate participation by both the applicant organisation and regional-based female founders. Participants are required to pay for these costs upfront and then seek reimbursement from the successful applicant organisation
  • funding publicity, communication, and marketing activities aimed at recruiting Queensland female founder participants for the business support initiative.

What companies are eligible for funding?

To qualify for application, the applicant organisation must:

  • hold an active ABN and be GST registered
  • operate from Queensland (either based in Queensland or with an office located there), or provide details of Queensland-based subcontractors/key personnel involved in developing/delivering the business support initiative
  • be an organisation (not a sole trader).

Note: Consortiums are eligible to apply, but only if the lead applicant organisation meets all eligibility criteria.

Is this grant competitive or entitlement based?

Competitive. Your application will be assessed among other applications by a judging panel.

How can I increase my chances of winning this grant?

By engaging an accredited government grants consultant, such as Avant Group.

Competitive grants often require significant business case development and project analysis to support the application, this may include detailed presentations supporting the project’s merit, projected sales, cost-benefit analysis and more.

As part of your engagement with Avant Group, your account manager will assess the required documents and will provide the following as needed to support your grant submission.

Grant application writeup including a detailed presentation illustrating how the grant funding will contribute to your project, how the funding will contribute to the project’s budget, a project milestone plan, delivery timeline, impact on employment if applicable and a breakdown of the management and leadership team for the project

  • Industry analysis presentation
  • Competitor Analysis Presentation
  • Marketing and Sales Analysis Presentation
  • 3-5 year Cashflow Forecast
  • 3-5 year Balance Sheet Forecast
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis of Grant Funding
  • End-to-end grant application including information collating, analysis and application writing
  • CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) cost-benefit analysis
  • Stakeholder relations and Risk Mitigation Plans
  • Any other relevant forecasting that will support your application

How can I get help with my application? Or know if I’m likely to win funding?

Avant Group offers a no-obligation assessment of your eligibility for funding and will assess your likelihood of a successful grant application.