Visa announces She’s Next small business winners in Australia & New Zealand
Ten women entrepreneurs awarded share of AUD$65,000 in grants
Visa, a world leader in digital payments and Worldwide FIFA Women’s Football Partner, has announced the first ever Australian and New Zealand recipients of its global Visa She’s Next Grant Program, which supports women entrepreneurs to run, fund and grow their business.
Coinciding with the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023TM, Visa, together with Global Sisters and the Accelerator for Enterprising Women, invited ten shortlisted exceptional women-owned small businesses to pitch their business growth plans for a share in AUD$65,000 worth of grants.
The Visa She's Next Grant Program recipients span diverse industries with entries in the categories of Women’s Economic Equality, and Health, Wellbeing and The Care Economy, each offering innovative solutions and products. The three winners Alies Bol, founder of FRIKA Activewear, Natalie Mullins, founder of Pod Dietetics and Tamarin Howse, founder of Better Tea Co. each received grants of AUD$10,000 and the seven runners up received AUD$5,000 each. The Minister for Small Business Julie Collins was in attendance and delivered an address at the event held in Sydney, Australia.
Visa She’s Next Grant Program Winners 2023
- Alies Bol, founder of FRIKA Activewear, New South Wales, Australia: Offering activewear featuring vibrant, bold, and eye-catching African prints, designed to be worn by people of all backgrounds, adding style and uniqueness to their active lifestyles.
- Natalie Mullins, founder of Pod Dietetics, South Australia, Australia - Inclusive, accessible and high-quality nutrition support tailored to individual client needs.
- Tamarin Howse, founder of Better Tea Co., Auckland, New Zealand: Creating wellness teas, stocked in 150 retail stores, that target anxiety and create connective conversations around mental health.
“I’m proud to be part of a government that backs our country’s small businesses and it’s fantastic to meet so many female entrepreneurs making their great ideas a reality,” Minister Collins said. “The Albanese Government will continue delivering on our promise to get a better deal for small businesses, so female entrepreneurs have the support they need to innovate and grow. It’s a pleasure to celebrate our female entrepreneurs at this event today.”
Hosted amid the energy and excitement of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023TM, Visa’s flagship program for women entrepreneurs also invited all finalists to experience the Quarter Finals match held in Sydney, Australia the next day.
Julian Potter, Visa’s Group Country Manager for Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, said: “Not only can sport act as a powerful platform for gender equity, but research1 shows 8 in 10 women owned small businesses agreed participating in sports impacts a person’s success in business. Bringing She’s Next to Australia and New Zealand during the FIFA Women’s World CupTM is an incredible opportunity to celebrate inspiring women both on and off the pitch, with our winners kicking their own business goals as they take their ventures to the next level.”
Accelerator for Enterprising Women spokesperson Mim Rizvi said: "Today, as we celebrate the Visa She's Next Grant Program recipients, we are reminded of the sobering facts that only a third of Australian startups are female-led and women receive less than a quarter of all private seed capital investment in Australia2. Initiatives like this program, Global Sisters and the Accelerator for Enterprising Women support and empower female entrepreneurs to shatter glass ceilings, break barriers and embrace their potential as successful business owners."
Global Sisters Founder and CEO Mandy Richards said: “Global Sisters’ vision is to foster a world where financial independence for women is the norm, and self-employment becomes a viable option for any woman seeking that pathway. These generous grants will serve as a catalyst for continued business growth and success. We extend our gratitude to Visa for supporting and empowering these outstanding female founders.”
Since 2020, Visa has invested more than US$3.5M in over 370 grants for women small business owners through the She’s Next Grant Program, including in the US, Canada, India, Ireland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt and Morocco.
Visa She’s Next Grant Program Runners Up
Casey Pyne, founder of Quick Look, Queensland, Australia - Mini-background check to give people peace of mind in their romantic journeys.
Catie Fry, founder of Clovendoe Distilling Co., Queensland, Australia: Pioneering Australia’s first female-founded distilling company, crafting no- and low-alcohol spirits with complex botanical compositions to inspire a mindful drinking culture.
Celeste Iannotta, founder of Miluny Mud, New South Wales, Australia: A proud Darug woman living on Wiradjuri land, Celeste creates and sells earth-based natural skincare products using native Australian ingredients and offers beauty therapy and massage therapy from her studio.
Joanne Diver, founder of The Backyard Garden Enthusiast, New South Wales, Australia: Micro seed farmer cultivating Australian native flowers and grasses, promoting wildlife conservation and connecting people with nature.
Lauren Gandini, founder of Stella Athlete Management, Western Australia, Australia - Athlete management created to support and empower female elite athletes holistically, in and out of competition.
Tasmyn Roach, founder of Awhi Company, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand: With both Māori and Pākehā heritage, Tasmyn established Awhi Company, which just launched its first physical store following online success, offering baby blankets, wraps, and throws that feature exquisite Māori designs.
Yoko Nakazawa, founder of Cooking with Koji, Victoria, Australia: Showcasing deep expertise in traditional Japanese fermentation and preserving techniques, offering organic miso made to a centuries-old family recipe, while also sharing knowledge through cooking classes and Japanese calligraphy and sustainability practices.
1 Survey of 5,000 adults and 2,250 small business owners in 10 markets conducted by Wakefield Research for Visa
2 Techboard Female Founder Funding Report, FY2018-2021, https://techboard.com.au/female-founder-funding-report-fy2018-fy2021/ & International Trade Centre SME Competitiveness Outlook - COVID-19: The Great Lockdown and its Impact on Small Business, 2020, https://intracen.org/resources/publications/sme-competitiveness-outlook-2020-covid-19-the-great-lockdown-and-its-effects
About Visa Inc.
Visa (NYSE: V) is a world leader in digital payments, facilitating transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, convenient, reliable and secure payments network, enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. We believe that economies that include everyone everywhere, uplift everyone everywhere and see access as foundational to the future of money movement. Learn more at Visa.com.