Great Ydeas Small Grants Program

Have you got a great idea and need some funding to progress it?

YWCA Canberra’s Great Ydeas Small Grants Program will open in March! Keep an eye on this page to find out more. 

No idea is too small: if you think it’s a worthy project, why not apply? 

About Great Ydeas

YWCA Canberra’s Great Ydeas Small Grants Program provides grants up to $2,500 to support women and girls in the ACT, including non-binary and female-identifying people, to pursue their passions and improve our community.

The program was launched in 2010 in celebration of our 80th anniversary. Since then, Great Ydeas grants have helped more than 60 local women and girls to progress projects including establishing a podcast, launching a public awareness campaign, running empowering programs for girls, attending a conference and launching a social enterprise.

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 must be a member of YWCA Canberra to apply. Please check you’re a member first by emailing Leah Dwyer. 

If you have any questions, get in touch at You can also review our frequently asked questions page. 


2019 Great Ydeas Recipients:

Saba Awan, On the Ground

The On the Ground website aims to recognise talented locally-based women of colour working in various fields and provide the broader community with a direct way to connect with them.

It will feature profiles of these women highlighting their experience and interests (at no cost to them). It will serve as a conduit through which organisations, businesses, schools and other institutions can directly invite these women to speak at events, consultations and other collaboration opportunities.

Greater public visibility of these women via the website will create meaningful networks between women of colour and the broader community and will enhance the impact of future social initiatives and events undertaken in Canberra.

Rosalind Moran, Living Letters

Living Letters will be a series of guided workshops aimed at increasing engagement with literature throughout the local Canberra community.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week, Living Letters will provide a space for people to interact with their favourite books by writing letters as, or to a character they are interested in, or to their favourite authors.

Participants will also be able to share their writing with others and have the opportunity to share works of literature that are important to them.

Katherine Guerin-Smith, Sexy Health Social Hour 

Sexy Health Social Hour is an event for LBQ (lesbian, bisexual and queer) women, including trans, non-binary and gender diverse people who are connected to women’s communities.

Queer sex ed is often not covered during general sexual education and can leave members of the community vulnerable.

This event will be run by, and for, queer women and gender diverse people. It will empower the community through forming bonds, providing inclusive sexual health information to an under-served community and allowing LBQ (lesbian, bisexual and queer) women, including trans, non-binary and gender diverse people to take leadership roles. All education will be inclusive and consent-based.

Sophie Holloway, How You Bin

How You Bin is a campaign in the Bungendore community to promote sustainability at a household level.

Sophie has developed a suite of innovative, original, targeted strategies to give Bungendorians the tools to implement simple steps in their lives, whether these be installing “No Junk Mail” signs, recycling soft plastics/plastic bags or simply being certain of whether they should recycle milk bottles with the lids on or off!

Such actions require so little effort, yet on a house-by-house basis can create such a lasting difference in reducing unnecessary waste. Through her research (including a local survey) Sophie has discovered that the vast majority of Canberra-region inhabitants would want to live more sustainably.

The main barrier to adopting more environmentally-friendly household behaviours is simply the absence of accountability and sufficiently compelling sources of motivation to instigate changes in habits.

Sophie wants to make people accountable by creating a community movement and putting the tools for change directly into their hands. She is working with the community including with the local Farmers’ Market, Op Shop and businesses.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank our 2019 Great Ydeas Innovation Partners:

CBR Innovation Network mentoring idea to impact workshop series

The 2019 CBR Innovation Network Great Ydeas Mentoring idea to impact workshop series provides a grant of $2,000 to a girl or woman of any age to pursue an entrepreneurial activity, such as a social enterprise start-up, or other small business ideas.

Kate Crowhurst, ‘The Money Bites’  financial literacy podcast and blog

 ‘The Money Bites’ financial literacy podcast and blog aims to normalise conversations about money.

It will cover the experiences with money that aren’t covered in mainstream media including managing money after a divorce or death of a partner.

Money can either represent an opportunity or a barrier to women shaping their community. With 46 per cent of Australian women reporting that they find dealing with money stressful and overwhelming, it’s clear that the resources being produced have not significantly decreased the anxiety we feel when dealing with money.

EY Great Ydeas Creativity Grant

The EY Great Ydeas Creativity Grant provides a grant of $2,000 to a girl or 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.

Vendulka, Musical project

At for 21 years, singer/songwriter Vendulka has a slew of impressive achievements under her belt. From captivating audiences at some of New South Wales’ biggest folk festivals to touring internationally at the age of 14, to celebrating a #1 EP just a year later, this young artist is blazing a fierce trail. A two-time National Busking Champion, Vendulka has opened for some of the biggest names in Australian Folk music, including Pete Murray, and The Audreys.

Through the grant, Vendulka will be able to hire one of Australia’s up and coming female producers, Antonia Gauci to collaborate on a single to be released on all platforms and enable Vendulka to become a resource for any young women in music wanting advice on how to jump into a music career.

Microsoft Great Ydeas STEAM Start-Up GrantMicrosoft-logo

The Microsoft Great Ydeas STEAM  start-up grant provides 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.

Jennifer Robertson, WeiJenTech

WeiJenTech is the product of the work of two female entrepreneurs. Jennifer Robertson who is a neuroscientist and junior doctor with an interest in Neurosurgery and Wei Wei Hou a computer science PhD student.

It will apply cutting edge computer science research to develop devices to help patients with neurological diseases. Its first aim is to produce a device to help stroke patients with speech deficits to communicate while also improve their speech. helping stroke patients speak with their loved ones, return to work and engage with the wider community.