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Female entrepreneurs can win $10k in acceleration programme

Business growth company Soda are looking for female entrepreneurs to enter their RISE UP programme to be into win $10k for their start-ups.

CEO of Soda, Erin Wansbrough says the company is passionate about supporting women in business and this can be seen through their RISE UP programme.

“To start your own business, you need a brilliant idea, business acumen, tenacity and dedication. But to succeed you also need external support and money,” says Wansbrough.

“For female founders, that support and financial backing is often harder to obtain.”

Now celebrating its third birthday, the RISE UP programme was first created in 2021 to address the clear entrepreneurship gap between genders that is sitting at 21.6 percent for female-led start-ups.

Wansbrough says that though $10k is a “drawcard”, the RISE UP programme is more of a cash injection.

“We have created a programme that will challenge and enhance our finalists’ business skills and knowledge,” she adds.

Read more: International Women’s Day: Celebrating the female entrepreneurs of NZ

“Just as important is creating a community of like-minded female founders who can support one another as they strive to create successful businesses.”

Soda will choose five female-led businesses from those who have entered to participate in the programme and have founder-focused workshops on topics such as branding, marketing, pitch coaching and raising capital as a female.

The competition will then culminate through a pitch night in late-August where the five businesses will pitch their business idea to a public audience.

A winner will be chosen through a panel of high-profile judges who will select a winner to receive the $10k cash prize to help propel their business to the next level.

The 2022 RISE UP winner, Jane Allan, Founder of Finery says winning the programme was an “affirmation that we were on the right track”.

“The RISE UP programme enabled us to deep dive into our business and, in a short space of time, we made a huge amount of progress,” says Allan.

Applicants must be female founders or a female-led business, pre or early revenue, less than three years old and must be scalable or have some unique intellectual property.

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