THE WOMEN’S BUSINESS SCHOOL ACCELERATOR PROGRAM
We believe investing in women is the most powerful way to change the world.
When women are supported, educated and empowered to create economically viable, purpose-driven businesses the flow-on effect to their families, local communities and nations are incredible and include health benefits, financial benefits, better educational outcomes for children and a more robust local economy.
For Australia an increase of women’s businesses by just 6% would equate to an extra $25 billion to the Australian GDP. As well as this through 10 years of working with women we’ve learned that most women don’t start a business just to make a profit. They actually start a business because they want to make a difference, and make an impact in the world whether that’s for people or the environment or other initiatives; so their businesses are often purpose-driven.
The Women’s Business School has been designed to help solve this problem and provide the support, education and structure necessary to build and scale a strong, sustainable brand on limited capital. Statistics show that women, particularly women from indigenous and multicultural backgrounds, and those based in rural, regional and remote locations, don’t participate in accelerators at the same rates as men. We are committed to inclusion and ensuring that women from a diverse range of backgrounds have access to world-class education, peer connectivity, mentoring and support in a professionally challenging but safe and welcoming environment.
Our program has been designed to utilise tech to create flexible and time efficient learning through pre-recorded content, livestreamed video, audio recordings, printable pdf transcripts, coaching calls and an online mastermind group to ensure equal access for all. The WBS Accelerator program is a six month program designed for women. Our 2019 programs will accept 60 female founders. The programs offer unique access to world-class Australian and international mentors, investors and leaders with expertise in innovation, marketing, sales, finances, leadership and business development. Training is delivered by online masterclasses, one-on-one coaching via zoom, entrepreneur interviews, learning from peer success examples, a rigorous set reading programme, assessment tasks and Q & A sessions with successful female entrepreneurs. Content is livestreamed to maximise participation and inclusion and everything is recorded so that if you’re not able to make it live you can catch up anytime, anywhere.
We are a young accelerator, launching just over 2 years ago in June 2016 and we recently won Australia’s Best incubator for women and a number of our graduates have seen success through scaling in the form of significant revenue growth, industry award recognition, national commercial partnerships with brands such as Qantas, government and investor funding and international launches.
What impact has the initiative had or is expected to have?
The Women’s Business School launched in 2016 with a mission to provide accessible business education for women entrepreneurs creating purpose-driven ventures. Over 250 start-ups have completed The Women’s Business School programs since June 2016.
What is unique about this initiative? Can it be scaled-up and replicated in other places?
The Women’s Business School provides world-class education designed for women. An unique Accelerator model that combines both masculine and feminine approaches to business providing women with a balanced perspective and the practical tools and strategies to develop their leadership and confidence together with their business acumen.
The delivery of this accelerator is also unique, as a virtual program this accelerator enables women with caring responsibilities to have equal access to the support, education and opportunities that they are so often locked out of in traditional incubator and accelerator programs which require them to attend a co-working space 40 hours a week. This program has been designed with the needs of women in mind and challenges the traditional accelerator model which was originally designed by male VC’s.
The program is delivered online and can be easily scaled to new markets internationally. We already incorporate a number of international entrepreneurs and experts as teachers in the program, including humanitarian Dr Tererai Trent, author of The Awakened Woman (Zimbabwe) and tech VC raising expert Julia Pimsleur, author of Million Dollar Women (USA). We will continue to expand our network of international experts, entrepreneurs and teachers as we grow. We are currently in talks with a program coordinator based in Lagos, Nigeria to be able to offer the program to African high-potential startups in 2020 and have plans to launch into North America, (USA & Canada) in 2021.