Advance Queensland backs CQU social impact boost for female founders

17 July 2023
A group of female founders stand at a white board and discuss social enterprise.
Female founders participate in the iActivate social enterprise accelerator in Rockhampton

Female founders across regional Queensland can get fresh support to design and grow their business for good, thanks to a unique initiative from CQUniversity, supported by the Advance Queensland Accelerating Female Founders Program. 

Applications are now open for CQU's 14-week iActivate: Regional Female Founder Accelerator, designed to propel regional Queensland female founders who are driving social impact. 

Register your interest now!

The program builds on CQU’s proven iActivate social enterprise course, that’s been supporting entrepreneurs to launch social impact businesses and careers since 2020. 

The Regional Female Founder Accelerator is curated by women, for women, and addresses specific challenges for driving innovative business and social impact in regional Queensland. 

CQU Social Innovation Program Manager Ashley Clarke says the program has generous external funding from Advance Queensland, subsidising the exciting and empowering opportunity for new and emerging female entrepreneurs.   

“Whether you’re still in the early stages, with a seed of an idea, or less than five years into growing your business, the Regional Female Founder Accelerator gives you the skills, support and connection to grow and thrive,” Ms Clarke said. 

Weekly sessions will feature experienced and award-winning social impact leaders, including:

  • Yas Grigaliunas, Co-founder and CEO of World’s Biggest Garage Sale
  • Tanya O’Shea, Managing Director of Impact Community Services in Bundaberg, and national Not-For-Profit Outstanding Leader of the Year 2023
  • Katie Richards, Founder and CEO of Virtual Legal
  • Elise Parups, CEO of Queensland Social Enterprise Council

Applications are open now, with spaces for just 24 regional women to participate in weekly business development and coaching sessions. 

A generous subsidy means each participant pays just $426 for the full program (valued at $1540 per participant).

Successful completion earns the iActivate micro-credential, and connects participants with impact entrepreneurs across Australia. 

"iActivate has made a huge impact in communities like Townsville, Bundaberg, Cairns, Rockhampton and Toowoomba, where local people are tackling local problems with impact-led businesses they designed and developed through the iActivate program," Ms Clarke said.

"We know the regions are full of passionate people who want to address the big issues in their communities, and this Regional Female Founder Accelerator provides a new platform and network to help local women start building practical, creative, business-based solutions."

Analysis from the Queensland Social Enterprise Council shows every successful Australian social enterprise or business-for-good creates an average of 15 jobs' generating three dollars for every dollar of investment.

Applications close 1 August 2023, register your interest now!