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A new opportunity for Canberra’s women entrepreneurs

Michaela McGrath

Many of us dream of escaping the office grind and launching that business idea we’ve been ruminating on.

But what if we told you that dream could soon be a reality?

More and more Canberra women are defining their own brand of hustle, creating innovative small businesses and start-ups. Yet as alluring as it may seem to chase the self-employed dream, it’s no secret that the prospect of pursuing your passion project full-time is a daunting one.

Luckily, for those looking to take the leap, Rolfe Classic BMW’s Business Ignition Scholarships are set to tap into the abundance of self-starting women in the ACT and surrounds.

The scholarships aim to support and nurture local women’s entrepreneurial visions. Getting behind Canberra’s pioneering ladies, they will be awarded to three women, allowing them to connect with mentors and network with like-minded peers.

“These programs allow women entrepreneurs to work with mentors, share concerns and issues about work/life balance, financial and organisational issues, risk mitigation and business strategy,” explains General Manager of Rolfe Classic BMW, Anthony Martin.

Partnering with Inspiring Rare Birds to launch the inaugural scholarships, Rolfe Classic BMW was motivated by this global tribe of women entrepreneurs to foster peer-to-peer relationships between existing and budding entrepreneurs locally.

After a national tour of schools showed her that many young girls were entirely unaware of what an entrepreneur is, Jo Burston founded Rare Birds with the vision to see one million more women entrepreneurs around the globe in 10 years. Seeking to create change and provide women with entrepreneurial opportunities, Jo works tirelessly to set a precedent for young girls who want to change the world.

“We’ve had more than 300 women go through the program who have all reported significant growth; both business and personal,” says Jo. “…there’s nothing quite like the accountability and confidence that comes from having a mentor”.

To foster these mentorships, Rolfe Classic BMW’s Business Ignition Scholarships are valued at $1500 each and will support three women to assist in business growth over a 12-month mentor program.

Recipients will receive two hours per month with a carefully-allocated, high calibre mentor as well as a mentee guidebook and resources to ensure each woman makes the most from their mentorship.

“Quite often business can be cutthroat and extremely competitive,” says Martin. “So to find a forum where people are genuinely interested in seeing you succeed is a valuable resource.”

Coupled with exclusive access to the Rare Birds mentoring platform, including tools to set goals and track progress, access to articles and webinars, professional development missions from the exclusive Rare Birds library, and connections with experts in the Rare Birds community, this is an opportunity not to be missed.

The scholarships form part of the wider Rolfe Classic BMW Ignition Program, which includes panel events hosted by Jo Burston herself to inspire women across the ACT and surrounding areas.

Applications are now open for the Business Ignition Scholarships to all women entrepreneurs in the ACT and surrounding areas. Applications close at 5 pm AEST on Friday 27 July with winners announced Thursday 2 August. Register here.


Michaela McGrath

Michaela is a New Zealand born Australian currently based in Adelaide. Spending her childhood in Canberra’s north, she regularly travels east to the nation’s capital to visit family and friends. An avid foodie, Michaela is thrilled to see Canberra’s thriving hospitality scene continue to unfold. She is in her final semester of a Bachelor of Media with a major in Journalism at the University of Adelaide, and is an aspiring food and lifestyle writer with a passion for all things local. When she’s not busy writing her next piece, you’ll find Michaela on the hunt for the next place to grab a caffeine fix or whipping up a storm in the kitchen. More about the Author

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