$10,000 for a small business owner is a big deal. Life changing, even.
We were bombarded with thousands of entries to our Microsoft Small Business Grant – we were giving away a $10,000 cash grant, plus a membership to our Business Club program and a one-on-one discovery and training workshop with a Microsoft Master Trainer! We loved reading all the entries and learning about the ahhhmazing businesses in this community – change making, need filling, impact driven brands led by incredible women.
The very hard task of deciding the winner was left to a panel of judges that included our own founder, Emma Isaacs, the founder of cult brand Love To Dream™, Hana-Lia Krawchuk and Microsoft’s GM of Device Partner Sales, Chris Bright.
It was tough, but we have a winner – and a very deserving one at that.
Drum roll please …
The winner of the Microsoft Small Business Grant is Bronwyn Bate and her business, Mettle Women Inc.
Mettle Women Inc. is a national gift delivery service based in Perth that is staffed by women who are experiencing homelessness as a direct result of domestic and family violence. During a six-month paid working placement, the participants complete a series of modules to equip them with the skills, confidence, and financial security required to secure and maintain employment and in turn, safe and stable housing. Mettle also give participants access to wrap around support such as food insecurity services, subsidised childcare support, psychological support, interpreters (for CALD women), transport subsidies, and yoga, plus a budget for study support outside the program too.
Mettle’s gift boxes are so very beautiful, full of Aussie products in beautiful sustainable packaging that also contribute to economic security for women who desperately need it – you should totally use them when you next need to send a gift!
In Bronwyn’s grant entry, her answer to the question, ‘how would you spend the $10,000 cash grant?” stood out. She wrote, “$10,000 would enable Mettle to reach our fundraising goal to launch our second premises – creating employment opportunities for 20x additional women from our partner crisis shelters. Every woman in our care is a woman that we can assist out of homelessness and into their own safe housing. Every woman that we assist has an average of 2 children, so once we assist them out of crisis – that’s 3 beds that become available for the next family in need. We’ve raised the capitol for our second premises through revenue of our e-commerce store alone and this $10,000 is the balance we would need to ‘press go’.”
This $10,000 will have a serious impact.
A very clear direction on how that money would be used was influential in the judges’ decisions. Emma said, “This business stands out to me as having a really clear vision and purpose and is unapologetic in its mission to impact so many women into meaningful work. I liked the assuredness with which they explained how they’d allocate the grant funds, and I like that they have a clear path to growth.”
Chris from Microsoft said, “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to take part in this project with Business Chicks. There were many worthy nominations but in the end the winner Bronwyn demonstrated a great use of the investment and we are excited to help her fulfill the next part of her journey.”
Domestic and family violence is the single largest driver of homelessness for women in Australia. The lack of safe and accessible employment and opportunities to establish financial independence can make it extremely difficult and dangerous to leave abusive environments. So well done Bronwyn on building this impactful brand that provides opportunities to women who need them most, we can’t wait to see how this grant will help you further that impact and important work.