Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has affected many small businesses, 2021 is shaping up as the year in which many start-ups will rise, contributing to Australia’s economic recovery.
A new ING study reveals that more than a quarter of Australian adults learned new skills while in lockdown, and that 3.3 million of us are reconsidering our careers on the basis that the pandemic has resulted in many of us reassessing our priorities.
Holly Hunt, Founder and CEO of Women in Digital and Digital Talent Co, is encouraging Aussies to “take the leap” and take advantage of the opportunities for the “tinkers and thinkers” of Australia.
“More individuals are looking at what they want to achieve in life and the fact their lives aren’t just about going to work, coming home, and getting a paycheque,” Hunt said.
“A lot of people are looking for purpose and meaning, not just in their personal lives but also with their careers and how they can have a positive impact on society – during a time when society is most receptive to social change.
“Realistically, a lot of people have been stood down through the pandemic leaving them with either a redundancy payout or far fewer options,” Hunt added. “It’s amazing the amount of innovation that can come from adversity. If you have an idea, right now, when there’s so many shifting plains, could actually be the perfect time to give it a go.”
Hunt is serving as part of the judging panel for the Little Giant Startup Grant – an Australian-wide competitive grant by Brisbane-based law firm Bolter, which is offering an initial $50,000 to the chosen start-ups.
“I love that there’s a corporate giving back to start-ups and providing not only financial support but IP and commercial support,” Hunt said. “You can give money to anybody, but when you actually provide contacts and networks and commercial support and services, that’s when you’re going to see somebody grow their start-up and scale up.
“It’s an opportunity to showcase start-ups, provide feedback on their business model, help them get to the next stage, and ideally to see them accelerated as winners,” Hunt added.
“It’s amazing the people who come out of the woodwork once you get your name out there – those who will proactively reach out. The start-up community are so generous with their time and support.”
Head of Bolter Simon Playford said both his firm and the Little Giant Startup Grant aim to support local start-ups.
“We launched the Little Giant Startup Grant with a goal to help Aussie entrepreneurs take their business to the next level and give one entrepreneur a $50,000 boost,” Playford said.
“While there can only be one winner of the overall prize, we want every applicant to walk away with some sort of value – whether that’s insights, contacts or advice – that can help them take their business to the next level.”