Towards a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem for women-led startups

Towards a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem for women-led startups
Date and Time
12:30pm — 2:15pm AEDT
Funding, Going Global

Does the existing ecosystem help or hinder you? Join us at this unique panel event and hear wisdom and advice from those who've been there.

Panel discussion with speaker.

Keynote speaker: Sarah Curtis-Fawley, SBE Australia 

Topic: Accelerating Opportunity - Towards a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem for women-led startups 

Growing new ventures to a global scale is vitally important for Australia's economy, but both entrepreneurial activity and attitudes lag behind benchmark countries such as the United States and Canada. Australians are about half as likely as Americans to be in the process of starting a business, less likely to know someone who has started a business in the last two years, less likely to identify business opportunities and, when a profitable opportunity is spotted, Australians are less likely to act on it than Americans. This is particularly true for Australian women. 

According to data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, currently there is a large gap between female and male engagement in entrepreneurship in Australia. Sarah's research investigated how male and female founders navigate and experience the entrepreneurial ecosystem in order to highlight potential areas of opportunity to support nascent female founders. An extensive literature review on gender and entrepreneurship led to the development of a conceptual model, which posits that men and women develop and claim an ‘entrepreneurial identity’ in disparate ways, which in turn compounds the disadvantages women face in terms of the accrual of social capital. 

A less robust entrepreneurial identity and lower social capital has the effect of limiting aspiring and nascent female founders’ access to critical resources, information, and support, which makes their entrepreneurial “process” more challenging than that of men. Sarah will share findings from her research as well as a range of recommendations to cultivate increased female participation in entrepreneurial activity. 


How To Amplify the Success of Women Led Ventures


  • Lauren Hall, Founder and CEO, iVvy
  • Renece Brewster, Co-founder and CEO, Visual Domain
  • Charlotte Petris, Founder and CEO, Timelio
  • Sarah Curtis-Fawley, Talent Acquisition Lead, SBE Australia
  • Jim Cassidy, Founding Partner, Rampersand; Founder, Little Fish to Big Fish; Board member, SBE Australia
  • Ian Gardiner, Co-founder, Innovation Bay; Investment Partner, Jelix Ventures


  • Nicole Cook, CEO, SBE Australia
  • Nicola Swift, CEO, Heads over Heels
  • Malia Forner, Partner, EY


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As always, we want to ensure the content is relevant to you, if there is anything specific you would like us to cover or if you have any burning questions for our panel - please drop us a note at

We hope to see you there!


This event is part of Spark Festival and upholds the Spark Code of Conduct.

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