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Calling all wāhine and non-binary entrepreneurs, SheEO Venture applications are now open

SheEO has put out the call for Aotearoa-based wāhine and non-binary entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds who are working on the “World’s ‘to do’ list” to apply to become one of five selected 2021 Venture applicants. 

The successful five will benefit from the support of interest-free loans, business mentoring and the expertise of a global network of women and non-binary people.

SheEO supports, finances, and celebrates creators, makers and entrepreneurs on their own terms. It was launched by founder Vicky Saunders in the aim to create an entirely different funding model for women.

After decades of watching the low percent of venture capital going to women, and less than one percent of corporate procurement going to women-led businesses – Saunders developed a model to not only help businesses with networked support but also to create a positive financial impact on the companies and the communities within which they operate.

The New Zealand branch of SheEO.World was launched by renowned Kiwi businesswoman Theresa Gattung in 2017 and to date has raised over $1 million, through the radical generosity of women Activators.

Gattung encourages new applicants in 2021 to visit sheeo.world before applications close on Friday, July 16 to apply for a chance.

She explains even the process of applying gives applicants the opportunity to showcase their business to hundreds of radically generous Activators, who give feedback and often become customers.

“We have had many meaningful business successes in our SheEO NZ network,” Gattung says.

“The solar powered zero carbon juicer Chia Sisters is offsetting their carbon emissions by 120 percent. The Hello Cup diverted 200 million single-use period products from landfill.  In 2020, one of our first Maori-led Ventures AWWA diverted 3.6 million single-use period products from landfill. These wāhine are making a huge difference and SheEO wants to support more of these women and non-binary led organisations from diverse backgrounds.”

The Better Packaging Co., which provides sustainable and customised packaging, was chosen as one of the SheEO NZ Ventures in 2019. The combination of SheEO funding, international connections and mentoring received has played an important role in helping the business go from strength-to-strength.

“The funds we received were super-useful but it was the validation of us and our vision that initially gave us a real boost,” says Rebecca Percasky, co-founder of The Better Packaging Co.

“Then, as we became part of the extraordinary SheEO community and began our regular coaching sessions we came to realise that’s really where the magic happens.”

This year’s successful Ventures will be whittled down by Activators to ten semi-finalists. Following an online presentation to Activators and answering questions, Activators will then individually vote for five Ventures they think should be supported in 2021.

Saunders says it has been incredible to see the impact of the SheEO New Zealand community coming together in support of Ventures.      

“My focus as founder of SheEO is to support new solutions for the world’s most pressing issues; and what we are seeing from SheEO Activators and Ventures gives us hope that we can make the world a fairer, more equitable and sustainable place.

“We are collectively turning the institutional and ingrained bias against women and non-binary business leaders and wealth distribution on its head – and there is still much to do.”


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