The $10 million Alice Anderson Fund, to be developed and led by start-up agency LaunchVic, will operate over three years as a sidecar investment fund, committing between $50,000 and $300,000 into between 40 and 60 start-ups led by women.
The fund has been named in honour of Victorian businesswoman and innovator Alice Anderson, who in 1919, and aged just 19, opened the first all-women garage in Australia from her workshop in Kew.
Sidecar funds co-invest alongside private investors and the government’s contribution is expected to unlock up to $30 million in private sector investment.
Eligibility criteria will follow two pathways: either the start-up is 50 per cent owned by at least one woman, prior to any investment, or there is a 30 per cent ownership stake by women, including one woman in an executive role, such as chief executive officer or chief technology officer.
Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford said the Alice Anderson Fund recognises the groundbreaking achievements of a woman who refused to be constrained by society’s expectations.
“At all stages of the start-up life cycle, women-founded firms are a significant minority and this is a pivotal time to support women entrepreneurs to drive economic growth and create new jobs,” Ms Pulford said.
“The Alice Anderson Fund will help level the playing field and ensure more women-led companies have access to the early-stage capital they need to take their start-ups to the next level.”
LaunchVic chief executive Dr Kate Cornick said the focus of the Alice Anderson Fund is to support Victoria’s leading angel and early-stage investors.
“We urge investors to start reviewing their pipeline for those talented women founders, so we are ready to invest come July,” Dr Cornick said.
Applications for the Alice Anderson Fund open on 1 July 2021. Businesses can learn more about the fund and apply by clicking here.