Zali Steggall MP speaks on the Boosting Female Founders Initiative

26 February 2024 


I congratulate two female owned-businesses in Warringah who were successful in the Boosting Female Founders Initiative: Lactamo Holdings for their successful funding to respond to international demand for their breastfeeding massage ball, and Meditati for the commercialisation of their tampon innovation. The boosting female founders grant has nevertheless been challenging for many, with delays and poor communication leading to many applicants and grant recipients incurring unnecessary costs. Applicants have described this grant as 'breaking female founders' and 'a slap in the face'. One of my constituents, Emma Jones, of Project F, is one of the many applicants who has had a negative business impact due to the poor communication and lapsed time lines in the grants. So even successful applicants have said the process has undermined their business and cash flow.

We must do better when private sector investors overwhelmingly support all-male start-ups, with only four per cent of funding going to all-female start-ups and 62 per cent going to all-male teams in 2023, so the gap still has a long way to go to be closed. So I call on the government to do more to support female entrepreneurs, particularly in the upcoming budget. It's really important that this grant program for boosting female founders delivers on its promise and expectation and boosts women in business.