17 April 2019

Seven entrepreneurial Canberra women were honoured this morning for their innovation and creativity, at YWCA Canberra’s annual 2019 Great Ydeas Innovation Breakfast.

Now in its tenth year, YWCA Canberra’s Great Ydeas Small Grants Program supports women and girls in the Canberra region to bring their dreams to life. Priority is given to projects that empower women in the local community, and that have the potential to grow beyond the initial funding provided.

“The innovation ideas of Canberra women are diverse, ground-breaking and when supported, have an incredible long-term impact on improving our community,” said YWCA Canberra’s Chief Executive Officer, Frances Crimmins.

Projects recognised this morning included: technology to support communication for stroke patients; a financial literacy podcast; and a website that recognises talented locally-based women of colour working in various fields and provides the broader community with a direct way to connect with them, their specialist skills and expertise.

Since 2010, more than 60 women have been awarded a Great Ydeas Grant and support as they worked towards their goals.

“It’s wonderful to see the growth of the Great Ydeas program over the decade, and the important impact this program has made on Canberra women and our broader community,” said Ms Crimmins.

Previous Great Ydeas grants have funded education or training opportunities, launch social enterprises or community-based projects, seed funding for a small business establishment or professional development opportunities.

Grants of up to $2,000 are given to local women, including female and non-binary people, in the categories of small business, community development, the arts, diversity and inclusion, social enterprise, and professional development.

This year’s grants program offered a pool of $14,000 in funding with the support of business and philanthropic partnerships.

“With the support of our partners, Microsoft, EY and the CBR Innovation Network, we have proved the collective social impact achievable when corporate, philanthropic and community organisations connect.

“Our past recipients have gone on to achieve amazing things. One of our 2015 recipients, Caterina Giorgi, used her grant to create For Purpose, which works with not-for-profit and purposeful organisations to build their strategic, advocacy and communication capacity. For Purpose is a forerunner in the community working every day to tackle some of Australia’s biggest social, health and environmental problems.”

The Breakfast was also an opportunity to celebrate the global World YWCA Day and a fundraiser for YWCA Canberra’s housing initiatives, which provides support to women and their families who are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing homelessness.

Media contact: Lisa Morisset 0429 385705

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