Great Ydeas Small Grants Program

About Great Ydeas

YWCA Canberra’s Great Ydeas Small Grants Program provides funds to local women and girls to pursue a professional development opportunity, pilot a project, kick-start a business idea, or address a need in the community. Applicants must be a member of YWCA Canberra to apply.

The program was launched in 2010 in celebration of the organisation’s 80th anniversary. Since then, more than 40 women have received grants of up to $2000 each.  In the past, Great Ydeas grants have been used to fund education or training opportunities, launch social enterprises or community-based projects, seed funding for small business establishment, or professional development opportunities. Priority is given to projects that empower women in our local community, and that have the potential to grow beyond the initial funding provided. You can read more about past Great Ydeas recipients, and the types of projects previously supported here.

2017 Great Ydeas Grant Recipients

Sophie Fisher: Girls on Bikes
Through her project, Sophie aims to empower young women in the community by teaching them how to ride a bike. She came up with the idea after having a conversation with a student she tutors at the Migrant and Refugee Resource Centre who confessed that she had never owned a bike and never been taught how to ride. Girls on Bikes has two parts: the first the restoration and donation of a second hand bike to each woman in the program, followed by five weekly training sessions that promote independence, mobility, fitness and strength, as part of a supportive and cooperative community.

Sarah Lovelady: Aid Memoir

Sarah intends to develop an Aid Memoir for School Age Care Educators to use as a resource to support them to work with children with additional needs. Her motivation for the project is the recent changes to inclusion support funding, which has caused an inability to roster additional support workers at programs, and results in families being turned away.

Sarah hopes the project could overcome this issue by empowering educators with specific strategies and information that will give them the confidence to be able to provide quality support for children with additional needs.

Sarah Lovelady: Social and Emotional Learning Program

Sarah plans to design a Social and Emotional Learning Program to be delivered in School Age Care Programs across Canberra. The program will aim to help children between 6 – 12 years develop the necessary skills to promote a positive sense of self, establish respectful relationships with peers, make responsible decisions and build student understanding of how to manage their emotions.

Hannah Gissane: Young Women Speak Out

Through her project, Young Women Speak Out, Hannah aims to provide support directly to young women leading change in our local community. The project provides training for young women to plan and develop a campaign, and take the lead on issues that are directly about them.

Through a series of workshops, Young Women Speak Out will create a space for 16 and 17 girls to strategise, and plan advocacy and campaigning on an issue that would drive the political participation and engagement of many more young Canberrans.

Francesca Maclean: Fifty50’s Big Ideas Breakfast: Gender Equity in STEM by 2025

Fifty50 is a student-led movement dedicated to promoting gender equity in STEM. Through the Fifty50’s Big Ideas Breakfast event, Francesca hopes to create a meaningful discussion and catalyse real action in Canberra, ultimately leading to a more timely achievement of gender equality, especially in STEM, given the current estimation for reaching this target isn’t until 2186. The breakfast will bring together industry professionals, academics, government representatives (ACT and Federal), and current ANU students, and aims to engage all parties in the development of tangible strategies to achieve gender equity in STEM by 2025.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our 2017 Great Ydeas Innovation Partners:

Microsoft Great Ydeas STEAM Start-Up GrantMicrosoft-logo

The Microsoft Great Ydeas STEAM  start-up grant will provide seed funding of up to $2,000 to a woman entrepreneur and/or small business owner of any age, in the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics arena.

Kavinya Welikala, Dry Electrode Heart Monitor

Kavinya aims to create a heart monitoring app that can detect irregular heart activity, and can instantly provide a notification to emergency services, along with the person’s location in the event of a heart event. Through her project, Kavinya aims to eliminate the need for human intervention, and provide a cheap, fast and reliable response in emergency situations.

NAB Great Ydeas Innovate Grant

 The NAB Great Ydeas Innovate Grant will provide a financial contribution of $2,000 to a girl or young woman age 12-21, who is pursuing an entrepreneurial activity, such as a social enterprise start-up, or other small business idea.

In addition to the funding, NAB will provide up to three advisory sessions with a NAB business banker, and the opportunity to meet with the NAB social media team in Canberra.

Hayley Teasdale, Buzz Balance Ball

Hayley is a PhD candidate at the University of Canberra, working to improve balance for people with severe balance impairments. Her Buzz Balance Ball is a new medical technology that will rapidly improve balance and reduce the risk of falls for people with neurological conditions, as well as the elderly.

Australian Catholic Super Great Ydeas Enrichment Grant

The Australian Catholic Super Great Ydeas Enrichment Grant will provide a grant of $2,000 to a young woman aged 12-25, to reach her potential through personal development.

The grant can be used to attend a conference, fund an extra-curricular activity, or participate in a learning opportunity, for example.

Elise Kellett, The London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF)

Elise will use her grant to help her fund her attendance at the London International Youth Science Forum later this year. The forum will attract around 500 young scientists between the ages of 17 to 21 from over 60 countries, and bring together a diverse range of the world’s leading scientists, who will conduct presentations and discussion forums about the latest advancements and potential career opportunities.

Soroptomist International ACT & Monaro Great Ydeas Diversity and Inclusion Grant

The Soroptomist International ACT & Monaro chapter will provide a grant of up to $2,000 to a woman of any age, identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, culturally or linguistically diverse, LGBTQI+, or a woman with a disability.

This grant is for any activity covered under the general Great Ydeas funding opportunity, including to help fund a start-up, new project, professional development, or more.

Deborah Evans, The Jarjum Project

Deborah is an Aboriginal Elder (Gija/Djaru), and works part time in the criminal justice system, and has established a program to support the children and families of offenders. Deborah intends to use her grant to introduce a cultural program at the Alexander McConochie Correctional Centr

EY Great Ydeas Creativity Grant

The EY Great Ydeas Creativity Grant will provide a grant of $2,000 for a woman of any age to support a project, artwork, production, or business idea focusing on
architecture, dance, visual arts, literature, film production, music, or theatre.

Lucy Nelson, Girls Write Up: Canberra

Girls Write Up (GWU) is a daylong festival for teenagers that teaches empowerment through writing and sharing stories; explores the relationship between language, gender and power; and examines the effects of unconscious bias on our sense of self. The program is administered by the Stella Prize and has already run in Melbourne and Sydney. Lucy plans to assist Noted Writers Festival to bring GWU to Canberra for the first time in 2017.

CBRIN Mentoring/Lean Startup Workshop Series

This year, we’ve partnered with the CBR Innovation Network (CBRIN) to offer one grant recipient the opportunity to participate in CBRIN’s “Lean Start Up Workshop” series in 2017, and 3 x 1 hour mentoring sessions with experienced entrepreneurs.

Kavinya Welikala, Dry Electrode Heart Monitor (above).