Katherine McConnell is the CEO and founder of Brighte, which started in 2015 and is now one the emerging stars in the Australian startup-scene. Famously backed by Atlassi...
Heads Over Heels pro-actively supports women entrepreneurs through providing access to influential business networks.
The organisation was founded in 2010 with a mission to eliminate the discrimination and gender inequality faced by women entrepreneurs in Australia, through taking practical steps to address the issues that were preventing their success. Heads Over Heels determined that the best way of supporting women entrepreneurs was to enable access to the business connections they need to grow their companies. The Heads Over Heels model is based on holding structured events where a carefully selected portfolio of women entrepreneurs pitch their companies and their ‘asks’ to business and community leaders, with the audience then going into ‘Huddles’ to facilitate offers of connection.
In Australia, women are starting businesses at the same rate as men,(*) however statistics from around the world show that women-led businesses do not prosper at anywhere near the same rate as male-led businesses.(**) Tackling this imbalance requires positively changing societal views on women to reduce deeply entrenched gender inequality and taking practical steps to address disadvantages faced by women entrepreneurs.
Heads Over Heels’ believes that one of the most important determinants of business success is an entrepreneur’s access to critical business networks and that women are less likely to have access to the same powerful networks as men for a range of structural reasons. Heads Over Heels addresses this imbalance by opening up the networks of our men and women volunteer Connectors to women entrepreneurs in order to meaningfully improve their probability of success and help change the statistics for the better.
* Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey, 2010 ** EY independent study “Force Multipliers, How three fundamental adaptations can help women entrepreneurs scale big” 2014
Heads Over Heels supports high potential women CEOs of all backgrounds. We begin with a rigorous meritocratic process to unearth talented women running growth-oriented companies then work with these CEOs to identify critical introductions that have the potential to greatly improve their probability of business success. Over time we have observed these women become positive role models for other women and men in the entrepreneurial space as well as the broader business and government community.
We bring together a group of women and men in senior business, government and community roles (“Connectors”) who generously volunteer their time and contacts to support female entrepreneurship. The Heads Over Heels model provides a highly targeted, efficient and impactful way for Connectors to contribute. As we influence a larger audience to understand the unique challenges faced by women leading their own businesses, we build community support and improve the perception of women entrepreneurs, further contributing to their likelihood of success.
We focus on connections that make meaningful impact. Since 2010, Heads Over Heels has helped more than 30 women with more than 1,700 high impact introductions made. In addition we strive to:
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"We met our Series A investor and new Board member - Richard Enthoven representing Hollard Investments - through presenting at a Portfolio Event last year. This is not just great for us but great for all women founders in Australia."
"Heads Over Heels directly helped me raise my seed round and introduced some incredible advisors to me."
“I received some amazing introductions at the June 15 Portfolio Event and have started the sales process with EY, CBA, J&J, AMP, Virgin & Westpac - if even a few come through, its potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue, and 1000s of empowered women working for employers committed to driving social change."
"Heads Over Heels helped close my seed round with people who were aligned with my business and brought in ANZ and PWC as clients - likely to bring in over $100,000 worth of revenue."
“I asked for introductions to customers and kicked off my Series A at the June 15 Portfolio Event – so far I have had some amazing discussions with The Commonwealth Bank, Macquarie Group and Amazon Web Services about investment and use of my product."