THE idea to run a dedicated program for women, training the future corporate leaders of Australia, first came to Julie Demsey during another of SBE Australia's training programs.
Demsey, General Manager of SBE Australia, noticed many of the women coming to the shorter courses weren't far enough along and still needed support when compared to their male peers.
With so much research pointing toward uncomfortable truths, like the fact that less women-lead startups receive investment, and that women are asked markedly different questions in venture capital meetings, Demsey felt she had to do something.
Thus, E3: Empower, Evolve, Escalate, was born. The eight-week program is an educational workshop, uniquely designed to equip and empower female founders with the skills and confidence they need to build sustainable, high-growth, investor-ready technology businesses.
The first E3 program was a huge success in Sydney, and now SBE Australia are ready to take the program around the country, with the program set to launch in Melbourne.
Business News Australia spoke to Demsey ahead of the launch in Melbourne to find out what participants will get up to over the eight week program.
Could you tell me a bit about the E3 program?
The E3 program, Empower, Evolve, Escalate, is the newest program that we've launched. We've been running the Springboard Enterprises Australia Accelerator for the past five years and we realised when we were recruiting for that, that a lot of women were not quite ready for it but still needed support. We figured the best way to provide that support was to create a new program. We've set it up to be an eight-week program where the women meet once a week and the idea is to help them continuing to grow and evolve their business. All the work they're doing for their course is actually work they need to do to strengthen their business. It's all about really delving in and fully understanding the building blocks of their business and gaining confidence in themselves as well their understanding of everything from market fit through to financials, how and when to seek financial support whether that be from seed funding or venture funding, what that might look like and how to appropriately present themselves and their company in the strongest manner.
What are the main problems women face in the tech industry in 2017 and how can we combat these?
Well the main thing that's still happening is you have far fewer females in the sector to begin with so it helps to put them in a program where they're supported and surrounded with other females. If they're looking to grow their business having a network to rely on who can help provide the contacts they need are really important and we help provide that as well.
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