The Coalition Government is supporting girls and young women to become entrepreneurs through $3.6 million in funding for a new Future Female Entrepreneurs program across Australia.
The program will engage around 55,000 girls and young women nationwide, particularly those in rural and regional communities, through a digital platform and in-person workshops.
The Minister for Women Kelly O'Dwyer said the Coalition wants girls and young women across Australia to have the knowledge and skills to start their own small businesses and create employment opportunities for themselves and for others.
"The digital economy and technological change have transformed the Australian economy and our smart and creative young women can be well placed to take advantage of these opportunities," Minister O'Dwyer said.
"The Future Female Entrepreneurs program will help provide young women and girls with the tools and support they need to prosper in the digital economy and secure their own economic futures."
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the program will bring together new and existing digital resources to boost digital skills and entrepreneurship, provide in-person training to build students' digital literacy and entrepreneurial acumen, and provide mentorship to the businesswomen of the future.
"The Government wants to encourage more women to engage in entrepreneurship and the technology sector, which will create more opportunities for them and help to grow our economy," the Treasurer said.
The Coalition Government will work with partners in the digital industry and non-government sector to deliver the program, and will match private sector funding to achieve this.
A number of successful female entrepreneurs and leaders will be appointed as ambassadors of the program.
"There are more women in full-time work than ever before. But women are likely to earn less than men, and work part-time at over twice the rate of men," Minister O'Dwyer said.
"There is more to do in order to improve women's economic security, which is why I will deliver the inaugural Women's Economic Security Statement at the National Press Club next week," Minister O'Dwyer concluded.