$185,310 to support regional women in small business

THE NSW Government has awarded $185,310 to the NSW Farmers’ Association to support a program empowering women in the Lismore electorate to start and run successful small businesses through the Women in Business Networks (WIBN) grant.
Media Release

This funding will support the Empowering Women in Farming Businesses program to host up to 10 events across regional NSW to provide support to regional, rural and remote women in businesses.

The program recognises the valuable contribution of females to the agriculture sector and aims to provide focused networking and skill development opportunities to further develop their confidence and support systems.

Other communities set to benefit from this project include Armidale, Lake Macquarie, Upper Hunter, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Newcastle, Central Coast, Eurobodalla, Orange, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga.

Despite the prevalence of small businesses in New South Wales, only one-third of these businesses are owned by women. The WIBN grant bolsters the NSW Government’s commitment to support women in small business and entrepreneurs, as outlined in the 2022-23 Women’s Opportunity Statement.

The programs will help connect women in small business or those who are looking to start a small business with the right resources and support. They will include training, workshops, networking, peer support and industry mentoring.

Minister for Women Jodie Harrison said the WIBN program was another example of how the NSW Government supported women in small business.

“It will help women successfully access, navigate, and leverage formal networks for the purposes of business growth or provide them with access to finance, leading to increased turnover, profit, or employment,” Ms Harrison said.

Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin MP said the WIBN grant would provide more economic opportunities to enterprising women in the Northern Rivers region.

“The Minns Labor Government is committed to closing the gender pay gap in New South Wales and this will only be possible if we have more women leading and owning businesses across this state,” Ms Saffin said.

“Women make an outstanding contribution to the Lismore community and we are backing the NSW Farmers’ Association to deliver more opportunities for women to advance their agriculture business prospects.

“More women in business means more innovation, new ideas and greater employment opportunities for people in the Lismore region.”  

Rebecca Reardon, Vice President of the NSW Farmer’s Association, said: “Women perform a critical function in many farm businesses and developing their skills would unlock greater opportunities.

“Women traditionally perform administrative-type activities but we’re seeing more and more women looking for entrepreneurial ways to market and sell their farm’s products.”

The WIBN grant is administered by Women NSW and is a NSW Government commitment to allocate $2 million over four years to support women in small business.

This round of WIBN grant funding delivered $500,000 to support an additional two projects including:

  • ‘Work of Art’, run by Regional Arts NSW. Theprogram responds to the challenges that many women face in trying to establish their creative businesses in regional areas. The project addresses challenges, including a sense of isolation, accessing professional development opportunities, understanding and developing a market and experiencing both the advantages and disadvantages of distance and geography.
  • Yinaar Ngaambi-li’ created by the NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce, is a bespoke accelerator for Aboriginal women entrepreneurs and business owners. The project aims to develop their business capacity through a fit for purpose, culturally considered Business Accelerator Program that enables their sustained connection to business support and professional women role models, mentors and networks.

For more information on this grant, please visit nsw.gov.au/grants-and-funding/wibn.

Thursday 13 July 2023