The James Martin Institute for Public Policy (JMI) welcomes the NSW Government’s recently announced measures in the 2022 Budget to support women-led small businesses and women entrepreneurs to access the capital they need to scale up their businesses. Targeted support for women from disadvantaged backgrounds to grow their small businesses could add another important element to the Government’s approach.

Feeding into the Government’s Women’s Economic Opportunities Review, JMI developed the idea for a government-backed impact investment fund to support women from disadvantaged backgrounds, such as refugees or those in rural communities, to grow their small businesses.

Commenting on the announcements Chief Executive of JMI, Libby Hackett, said that “NSW is leading the way on building a more inclusive and equal economy for women. Closing the gender investment gap is a key part of that.”

“The creation of a new venture capital fund for women-led start-ups, named in honour of the late fashion leader Carla Zampatti, is an important and welcome step towards addressing the gender investment gap in NSW, but there is an opportunity to reach even further.” – Libby Hackett

“We have to reimagine how capital markets can better back women entrepreneurs, especially those from the economic or social margins, and boost women’s economic security more broadly,” JMI’s Executive Director for Research and Policy, Dr Vafa Ghazavi said.

JMI’s latest Policy Brief includes practical ideas that not just complement but could also inform the design and investment strategy of the new Carla Zampatti venture capital fund.

These design innovations include making finance adaptive to women’s lives (including care responsibilities), building the relational infrastructure to reach disadvantaged women in their own communities and circumstances, and prioritising investments in businesses that create good jobs.

Dr Ghazavi suggests these innovations would “represent a step change in empowering disadvantaged women who lead or own small businesses to increase their own economic security and create good jobs across the economy.”

“We look forward to actively contributing to further policy development in this area.”

The Policy Brief ‘NSW Women’s Opportunity Fund: A proposal to support the entrepreneurship of disadvantaged women’ can be accessed here.

Media contact

Callista Thillou
Executive Director Engagement
M: 0499 989 633, E: [email protected]

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