Visa announces She’s Next small business winners in Australia & New Zealand
Visa, a world leader in digital payments and Worldwide FIFA Women’s Football Partner, has announced the first ever Australian and New Zealand recipients of its global Visa She’s Next Grant Program, which supports women entrepreneurs to run, fund and grow their business.
Coinciding with the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, Visa, together with Global Sisters and the Accelerator for Enterprising Women, invited ten shortlisted exceptional women-owned small businesses to pitch their business growth plans for a share in AUD$65,000 worth of grants. The Minister for Small Business Julie Collins was in attendance and delivered an address at the event held in Sydney, Australia.
The diverse range of Visa She’s Next Grant Program recipients include businesses in micro-seed farming, no- and lo-alcohol spirits, African-inspired activewear and mini-background checks for online dating, each offering innovative solutions and products. The three winners Alies Bol, Founder of FRIKA Activewear, Natalie Mullins, Founder of Pod Dietetics and Tamarin Howse, Founder of Better Tea Co. each received grants of AUD$10,000 and the seven runners up received AUD$5,000 each.
Visa She’s Next Grant Program Winners 2023
- Alies Bol, Founder of FRIKA Activewear, NSW, Australia: Offering activewear featuring vibrant, bold, and eye-catching African prints, designed to be worn by people of all backgrounds, adding style and uniqueness to their active lifestyles.
- Natalie Mullins, Founder of Pod Dietetics, South Australia, Australia: Inclusive, accessible and high-quality nutrition support tailored to individual client needs.
- Tamarin Howse, Founder of Better Tea Co., Auckland, New Zealand: Creating wellness teas, stocked in 150 retail stores, that target anxiety and create connective conversations around mental health.
“I’m proud to be part of a government that backs our country’s small businesses and it’s fantastic to meet so many female entrepreneurs making their great ideas a reality,” Minister Collins said. “The Albanese Government will continue delivering on our promise to get a better deal for small businesses, so female entrepreneurs have the support they need to innovate and grow. It’s a pleasure to celebrate our female entrepreneurs at this event today.”
Hosted amid the energy and excitement of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, Visa’s flagship program for women entrepreneurs also invited all finalists to experience the Quarter Finals match held in Sydney the next day.
Julian Potter, Visa’s Group Country Manager for Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, said, “Not only can sport act as a powerful platform for gender equity, but research shows 8 in 10 women owned small businesses agreed participating in sports impacts a person’s success in business. Bringing She’s Next to Australia and New Zealand during the FIFA Women’s World CupTM is an incredible opportunity to celebrate inspiring women both on and off the pitch, with our winners kicking their own business goals as they take their ventures to the next level.”
Accelerator for Enterprising Women spokesperson Mim Rizvi, said, “Today, as we celebrate the Visa She’s Next Grant Program recipients, we are reminded of the sobering facts that only a third of Australian startups are female-led and women receive less than a quarter of all private seed capital investment in Australia. Initiatives like this program, Global Sisters and the Accelerator for Enterprising Women support and empower female entrepreneurs to shatter glass ceilings, break barriers and embrace their potential as successful business owners.”
Global Sisters Founder and CEO Mandy Richards, said, “Global Sisters’ vision is to foster a world where financial independence for women is the norm, and self-employment becomes a viable option for any woman seeking that pathway. These generous grants will serve as a catalyst for continued business growth and success. We extend our gratitude to Visa for supporting and empowering these outstanding female founders.”
Visa She’s Next Grant Program Runners Up for 2023 are:
- Casey Pyne, Founder of Quick Look, Queensland, Australia: Mini-background check to give people peace of mind in their romantic journeys.
- Catie Fry, Founder of Clovendoe Distilling Co., QLD, Australia: Pioneering Australia’s first female-founded distilling company, crafting no- and low-alcohol spirits with complex botanical compositions to inspire a mindful drinking culture.
- Celeste Iannotta, Founder of Miluny Mud, NSW, Australia: A proud Darug woman living on Wiradjuri land, Celeste creates and sells earth-based natural skincare products using native Australian ingredients and offers beauty therapy and massage therapy from her studio.
- Joanne Diver, Founder of The Backyard Garden Enthusiast, NSW Australia: Micro seed farmer cultivating Australian native flowers and grasses, promoting wildlife conservation and connecting people with nature.
- Lauren Gandini, Founder of Stella Athlete Management, Western Australia, Australia: Athlete management created to support and empower female elite athletes holistically, in and out of competition.
- Tasmyn Roach, Founder of Awhi Company, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand: With both Māori and Pākehā heritage, Tasmyn established Awhi Company, which just launched its first physical store following online success, offering baby blankets, wraps, and throws that feature exquisite Māori designs.
- Yoko Nakazawa, Founder of Cooking with Koji, Victoria, Australia: Showcasing deep expertise in traditional Japanese fermentation and preserving techniques, offering organic miso made to a centuries-old family recipe, while also sharing knowledge through cooking classes and Japanese calligraphy and sustainability practices.
Since 2020, Visa has invested more than US$3.5 million in over 370 grants for women small business owners through the She’s Next Grant Program, including in the US, Canada, India, Ireland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt and Morocco.