Accelerator program for young female entrepreneurs launched

Instagram Australia, together with its partner Are Media, has launched the first-ever Instagram Academy, an exclusive accelerator program for young female entrepreneurs under the age of 25 who are looking to take their business to the next level.

The program will offer 25 young female entrepreneurs:

  • Exclusive digital training where they will get to learn everything they need to know about nailing social media marketing on Instagram.
  • Advice and mentorship from some of Australia’s leading business experts including Lillian Ahenkan AKA @flex.mami, Grace Brennan, Founder of @buyfromthebush, and Laura Thompson and Sianna Catullo from @clothingthegaps.
  • One-on-one coaching from a member of the Facebook Australia sales team who will offer bespoke advice specifically for the participants.
  • $1000 in Facebook ad credits to boost their business across Instagram, Facebook and other platforms.
  • The opportunity to be showcased in announcements and articles across Are Media’s titles including Marie Claire, ELLE, and Girlfriend.

The launch of the program coincides with the release of Are Media’s report Empowering Enterprises: Young female entrepreneurs in Australia, a study that reveals how the number of female entrepreneurs has risen during the pandemic despite the challenges of sexism and discrimination and the opportunities being presented in digital platforms and education.

The study noted that 87 per cent of the young female entrepreneur respondents agree that sexist attitudes still exist, and 72 per cent expressed a lack of diversity in their industry. Despite these challenges, young female entrepreneurs are utilising digital platforms to their advantage, with two out of three agreeing that social media is a key driver for their businesses’ growth, 92 per cent of them saying that Instagram was their most important marketing channel, even more than a website (91 per cent).

“The challenges of COVID-19 are forging an entrepreneurial culture, the likes of which we’ve never seen before, the Hon Jane Hume, Minister for Women’s Economic Security and Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy, said. “Young women in particular are taking the future into their own hands, and they’re leveraging digital tools to do so. Digital is no longer just a marketing add-on, so when this drive is combined with the right support, big things can happen.

“Over the past two decades, the number of female-run small businesses has grown by 46 per cent, that’s almost double the rate for those run by men,” Minister Hume added. “These women are helping to drive our nation’s economic future and are leading the way in embracing the benefits of our digital economy. That’s why programs like Instagram Academy, which support young women in business, are so important.”

Alisha Elliott, Head of Policy Programs, Facebook ANZ, said, “Today’s research shows that while young women still face significant challenges in the business world, they have ambitious goals and the tools to turn their dreams into reality.” And Jane Huxley, CEO of Are Media, said, “It’s so heartening to see so many smart, ambitious, young women stepping out to build their businesses from the ground up, and many doing so with little financial support. While there sadly remains some entrenched challenges, technology and social platforms are reducing the barriers to entry and route to market for many of these exceptional female entrepreneurs, and that can only be a positive thing.”