A new initiative is en route to Wagga to help turbocharge an already booming movement of businesswomen.
Springboard Enterprises Australia are bringing “E3: Empower, Evolve, Escalate” to Wagga next month to give women the tools, networks, and confidence they need to grow a successful business.
Director Sue Hogan said they decided to bring E3 to Wagga after realising about 70 per cent of local startups had a female founder.
"A big part of the program is giving founders all the building blocks so they are really pitch ready at the end and are confident in seeking investment," Ms Hogan said.
“We can’t underestimate the value of learning alongside other female founders – a lot of the time, people are in a silo, but the amount of learning you get alongside others is so important.”
One person who is already fostering a sense of community among local businesswomen is Naomi Miller, president of Women in Business Wagga.
Ms Miller said she believed Wagga was in many ways the perfect place to grow a new business.
“I’ve seen a lot of people moving out of the cities into Wagga to either start up their own business or to do other things like take over a farm,” Ms Miller said.
“I think it’s easy to get business done in Wagga – you have extra time without the commutes and the traffic, so you can visit people, have meetings, and just achieve a lot in your day.”
Ms Miller has worked alongside women of all ages as they establish their businesses, and said one of Wagga’s greatest strengths is how support businesswomen are of one another.
“Women in Wagga are very supportive and encouraging of each other when it comes to business, and I think that builds confidence and shows them that they can do anything,” she said.
The flexible nature of life as a business owner means more and more Wagga mums are jumping on the startup bandwagon, too.
Sophie Walsh, who owns event management businesses St Edwards and White Top Venues with her husband, said her decision to ditch mainstream work to chase her passion came five years ago.
“I was a teacher at the time, and I enjoyed my teaching days, but it wasn’t my calling or my passion,” Ms Walsh said.
“We’re all looking for the perfect structure to be able to blend our family lives with our working lives, so I feel like there’s a bit of a buzz in Wagga at the moment and a knock-on effect when people see their friends leave the mainstream professions.”
With the E3 program set to arrive next month, it may not be long until Wagga sees more and more new startups with women at the helm.
Applications for the E3 program close on July 9.