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New scholarship program for Victorian businesses

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State Library Victoria's startup support service, StartSpace, has today launched the inaugural Lisa Ring and Family Scholarships program with the announcement that applications for its first two scholarships are now open.

The newly created scholarship program will provide new and early stage business founders with the knowledge, skills and networks they need to overcome the major barriers to starting a business in Australia.

Generously funded by philanthropist Lisa Ring and her family, this is the first of a five-year commitment and includes $10k seed funding, mentoring, and StartSpace membership for two budding entrepreneurs.

StartSpace Community Lead, Aun Ngo, said the scholarship program aims to support emerging entrepreneurs who can demonstrate the commitment and drive necessary for their businesses to succeed.

“The Lisa Ring and Family Scholarships program will provide support to business founders at the very early stage, helping to get great business ideas off the ground,” Mr Ngo said.

“As a majority of support across the startup ecosystem tends to be aimed at more established and growing businesses, this program is quite unique as it provides seed funding, tailored mentoring and support to founders at the very start of their business journey.

“StartSpace, in conjunction with Lisa Ring and her family, is excited to offer this six-month scholarship program. Our aim is to give startup founders confidence for future success and assist in taking them to the next level. We hope the program will cultivate Victoria’s future business leaders.”

Philanthropist Lisa Ring said she hopes that over five years, the scholarships will help unearth a new generation of Victorian startups.

“Startups and small businesses contribute so much to Victoria’s economy and are essential in opening up new job opportunities. But new talent needs to be nurtured in order for the sector to continue to grow,” Ms Ring said.

“While there are plenty of support structures out there for businesses that already have a foothold, there is a huge gap when it comes to supporting very early stage founders – and that’s what this scholarship program aims to address.

“I am so thrilled to be working with State Library Victoria which promotes inclusion and access for all – key tenets in my own personal philosophy.”

Applications for the first scholarship round are sought from all new and early stage Victorian business founders over the age of 18 that will be able to enter into a scholarship agreement from January to June 2022. All founders that meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply.

To apply for the scholarship program, and for further information including eligibility criteria and key dates, visit https://startspacehq.com/scholarships

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About StartSpace
StartSpace is a free business support service specifically for new and early-stage business founders.  Enabled by the Christine Christian Foundation and powered by State Library Victoria, StartSpace provides inspiration, information and practical guidance to help new businesses grow from concept to reality. Free membership offers events, training programs and access to a community of like-minded business and startup founders, as well as use of a coworking space at State Library Victoria. StartSpace membership is open to all new Victorian business founders, entrepreneurs and those with a great business idea looking to start their business journey. 

About State Library Victoria
Established in 1854 as the Melbourne Public Library, State Library Victoria is Australia’s oldest public library and one of the first free libraries in the world. As the custodian of Victoria’s history, each year the library adds more than 70,000 physical and digital items to its rich collection of articles, artworks, photographs, manuscripts, books, journals, artefacts and much more. In 2021, the Library launched a new membership program offering tailored benefits to families, students and culture lovers alongside its flagship free Access membership.