Out of 200 ASX companies, The Chief Executive Women (CEW) found there were only 10 female CEOS in Australia, and while more and more women are smashing through glass ceilings to create multimillion-dollar businesses we also know female-led businesses have been hit particularly hard since Covid-19 hit.
While female entrepreneurs are resilient there was very little specialised support for women in the 2020 federal budget. We believe the power of a strong support network for women has never been more important so we wanted to shine a light on the game-changers who are leading the charge toward more Australian female-led businesses, just like us at Stella!
The social media queens – Rosie and Lucy Thomas
There are not many Australian companies who can say they’ve received an investment from social media giant Facebook itself, but Rosie and Lucy Thomas’ anti-bullying venture Project Rockit is part of that elite few.
The two sisters founded Project Rockit over 12 years ago, a social venture which empowers Australian youths to stand up for themselves and others in the face of bullying.
The two are a force of positivity and fearless progression and have thrived through a “complementary” relationship, with their respective strengths making up for their respective weaknesses.
“There is no one in the world I believe in more than her. If I’m ever in panic or feel like we’ve gone backward, I ask her: ‘Mate, do you think we can do it?’ If she says we can do it, then we can do it,” Thomas says of her sister.
Money matters – Alex Andrews, Cristina Hobbs and Zoe Lamont
Alex, Cristina, and Zoe have spent much of their careers building the financial power of women and with stats telling us that Australian women retire with almost half the superannuation of men when they retire, it took a Royal Commission to tell them the obvious that the current financial system is broken and it’s too often women who pay the price.
So, Verve Super was born. Verve is an ethical super fund tailored for women, and they’re shaking up the Superannuation industry through free education and guidance which is tailored to what women need. Already they have invested $600 million is super for women. Incredible.
Creative tech – Mikaela Jade
Running a start-up from the middle of Kakadu National Park in Australia’s far north is a tough ask, but Indigital founder Mikaela Jade has seen her augmented reality start-up thrive, telling Indigenous stories on the country through the creative tech.
The entrepreneur was picked as one to watch in 2017 and was also named as the winner of the Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award, which recognises the success of up-and-coming female entrepreneurs under the age of 40. The founder told SmartCompany her experience working in the Northern Territory had been fantastic but noted she’d struggled without the same entrepreneurial networks found in places like Sydney and Melbourne.
“I’m not only trying to develop tech that didn’t exist a few years ago in an industry that’s absolutely ripe for disruption, but we had challenges we had to overcome that other start-ups didn’t have to deal with,” she says. “We didn’t have the innovation community; we didn’t have other start-ups to provide that support. I was in the Sydney start-up hub [recently] where there’s such camaraderie, and we didn’t have that; I had to invent it by stalking people on LinkedIn and building those networks online.”
“We’re still focused on how to push tech for the betterment of the Indigenous community across Australia, and I feel so lucky to be part of this community.”
The Social Impact – Global Sisters
Global Sisters are changing the game to make business possible for women, enabling them to be financially resilient and stand tall.
They provide a genuine alternative for women who are unable to participate in mainstream employment or access decent, sustainable work. By removing the structural and systemic barriers they commonly face, we make self-employment a viable option for women. They enable access for Sisters nationwide via a place-based program in Regional Hubs and a digital, remote access program for Air Sisters.
They are part of a female empowerment ecosystem that supports female entrepreneurs, connections, and community. You can support the community too by shopping the global Sisters Marketplace, it’s an easy way to support these incredible women to become financially independent and help them to achieve their goal of 17,000 new Australian led businesses by 2025.
These female founders and leaders bring something the business community needs more of a genuine desire to give back and support other women. We know this is just the tip of what’s to come from female-led businesses (just like ours) and we couldn’t be more excited to be part of the journey!
We are ready to dominate 2021, who’s coming with us!?