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$2.1 million to boost women’s employment, economic security

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Code Like a Girl provides economic opportunities for women

Ecstra Foundation has announced $2.1 million in new funding to ten social enterprises and charities boosting women’s employment and economic security.

The grants are an initiative of the Women’s Economic Security Project, launched to support micro enterprises, small business accelerators, charities and social enterprises working with survivors of domestic abuse, young women in regional areas, indigenous women, refugee and migrant communities.

Among the ten recipients of the grant is Mettle Women, a successful national gift delivery service that employs women experiencing homelessness due to domestic and family violence

Its CEO and Founder Bronwyn Bate, CEO highlighted the importance of addressing domestic and family violence through increased economic security for women.

“A huge issue for survivors of domestic and family violence is the lack of safe and accessible employment and economic opportunities to establish financial independence. This can make it extremely difficult and dangerous to leave abusive environments,” Bate said

Our social enterprise is not just an employer. We wrap support structures around our Mettle Women to give them the job skills, experience and money confidence to create their own future,” she said.

Ally Watson, Founder of Code Like a Girl underscored the power of social enterprise to create genuine change.

“We want women and non-binary individuals to be equal creators in building the future of tech. This funding helps us to open up careers in coding and ensures that background, age or financial circumstances don’t prevent women from participating. All you need to succeed in our courses is a passion for technology and a healthy dose of curiosity.

Our intern program is a proven career pathway with over than 70 women into paid entry-level web and software development roles in the last 2 years,” Watson said.

For her part, Caroline Stewart, CEO of Ecstra Foundation believes that philanthropic funding such as the Women’s Economic Security Project is vitally important, even as the Australian economic recovery gains momentum.

“COVID-19 has magnified pre-existing issues of financial inequality and insecurity for many women, including the burden of unpaid work and caring responsibilities, low paid and casualised work and financial stress. These grants support social enterprises and charities to design innovative solutions to long standing issues of gender inequality. The approaches are practical, community based, and include the lived experience of women facing the day-to-day realities of economic insecurity.”

Each of the ten grants will integrate tailored financial capability and personalised support into the program delivery. Caroline Stewart adds that “these supports extend far beyond static financial literacy resources. The ultimate aim is to improve women’s access to reliable income, financial products and services, to grow their financial confidence and to help more women build a secure future.”

Among the other organisations that received Women’s Economic Security Project grants are Australian School of Entrepreneurship (ASE) (QLD), First Australians Capital (NSW, VIC, SA), Karrkad Kanjdji Trust (NT), Multicultural Youth (SA), SisterWorks (VIC), The Difference Incubator (VIC), The Social Outfit (NSW), and Two Good Foundation (NSW).

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