Scholarship program for Victorian business founders launched

State Library Victoria’s startup support service, StartSpace, has launched the inaugural Lisa Ring and Family Scholarships program, with applications now open. The new scholarship program will provide new and early-stage business founders with the knowledge, skills, and networks they need to overcome the major barriers to start a business. Two budding entrepreneurs will be chosen and will be provided $10k seed funding, mentoring, and StartSpace membership.

StartSpace Community Lead, Aun Ngo, said the scholarship program aims to support emerging entrepreneurs who can demonstrate the commitment and drive necessary for their businesses to succeed.

“The Lisa Ring and Family Scholarships program will provide support to business founders at the very early stage, helping to get great business ideas off the ground,” Ngo said. “As a majority of support across the start-up ecosystem tends to be aimed at more established and growing businesses, this program is quite unique as it provides seed funding, tailored mentoring and support to founders at the very start of their business journey.

“StartSpace, in conjunction with Lisa Ring and her family, is excited to offer this six-month scholarship program,” Ngo added. “Our aim is to give start-up founders confidence for future success and assist in taking them to the next level. We hope the program will cultivate Victoria’s future business leaders.””

Philanthropist Lisa Ring said she hopes that over five years, the scholarships will help unearth a new generation of Victorian start-ups.

“Start-ups and small businesses contribute so much to Victoria’s economy and are essential in opening up new job opportunities. But new talent needs to be nurtured in order for the sector to continue to grow,” Ring said.

“While there are plenty of support structures out there for businesses that already have a foothold, there is a huge gap when it comes to supporting very early-stage founders – and that’s what this scholarship program aims to address,” Ring added. “I am so thrilled to be working with State Library Victoria which promotes inclusion and access for all – key tenets in my own personal philosophy.”

Applications for the first scholarship round are sought from all new and early stage Victorian business founders over the age of 18 that will be able to enter into a scholarship agreement from January to June 2022. All founders that meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply.