SurePact has been named in the first round of grant recipients for the Australian Government’s Boosting Female Founders Initiative, chosen by an independent committee of successful female entrepreneurs.
The Boosting Female Founders Initiative, part of the Australian Government’s Women’s Economic Security Package, provides female founders of startup businesses with grant funding to scale their businesses into domestic and global markets. It was designed to help female entrepreneurs overcome the disadvantages they face in getting access to finance and support for their startups.
“SurePact was one of 51 successful recipients of the Boosting Female Founders Grant, putting us within a cohort of spectacular female founders given this opportunity to grow and scale faster,” SurePact Founder and CEO Megan Avard says.
“The difficulties for female founders in technology have been recognised by the Federal Government with this grant, and it is great to see this support.”
Fittingly, this grant will be put towards developing SurePact’s Grant Management System, which is a proof of concept for grant funding bodies rounding out the gap where there is a lack of reporting procedures and compliance by those agencies delivering funding.
This new module will ensure that funds that are allocated to organisations – whether they be corporate, government or not-for-profit – are tracked with complete transparency and probity.
“Many grant funding bodies are tracking all of their grant funds on spreadsheets, or not tracking them at all,” Megan says. “We had already started working on our Grant Management System for grant recipients, but in 2018 we identified that there was also a big gap on the grant funding side.
“Government departments have been giving out money and tracking everything manually. When they have staff changeovers or movements, all that knowledge is lost or hard to track down.
“This causes a huge disparity of probity where funding bodies are not recording materials properly. Their communications are not being tracked proficiently, meaning taxpayer dollars are not being managed well.”
“We are setting up a technology platform where the funding body can issue the award to the funding recipients and then collaborate with the funding recipients to manage and track all of the deliveries associated with those funds,” she says.
“This software will provide a collaborative environment that has full transparency, visibility and shows strong accountability on both sides, while providing full probity and compliance reports, which is not something that is currently available on the market.”
The Boosting Female Founders Grant will support theSurePact project over the next 24 months. The grant has also supported the growth of the company, with four new staff members coming onboard, bringing the SurePact team up to 12 staff members in only three years.
“Some of our current staff’s time will be allocated to the design, build, testing and roll-out of this module, but we also need to bring on staff from a perspective of business analytic design and business development,” Megan says.
“Building our team brings more in-house development knowledge and expertise into the company, which is very important in the startup space.”
Providing jobs for Australians is also important to Megan, particularly in the aftermath of COVID.
“All of our development is onshore and all of our company members live in Australia, and SurePact has not had to let any staff members go since COVID hit,” she says. “JobKeeper helped to ensure we could keep our staff, but we were also able to continue to grow.
“As a young startup, this grant has given us a boost and a helping hand to bring more people on and employ more Australians, while also giving the opportunity to scale.”