Supporting women SME owners, entrepreneurs and startups around Australia since 2018

Supercharging personal and professional growth, giving women business owners from marginal demographics the confidence and skills to take their business to new heights.

With thanks to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Office for Women

Congratulations to all of the scholarship recipients for 2020

These women entrepreneurs and SME owners from marginal demographics, located across Australia, received a fully-funded program that comprises one-on-one mentoring with a business expert, business education masterclasses, and networking opportunities, to build a sustainable future for themselves, their families and their communities.


Breakdown as % is as follows:

    • Rural47%
    • Migrant21%
    • Indigenous12%
    • Lower socio-ecomomic10%
    • Disability8%
    • Refugee2%

Abby Aitchison

AA Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic

Adrienne Brooks

Elevate Studios NQ

Alicia Isles

Namaste Journeys

Alison McDermott

Baby Sensory Moreland Darebin and Brimbank

Amber Knight

The Beauty of Yoga

Anita Synnott

Natural Territory

Annie Gichuru

Uplifting Studios

Belinda Humphries

Wattle Grove Speckle Park Pty Ltd

Bianca Hartge-Hazelman


Biljana Konjarski

DSM Enterprise Pty Ltd

Bronwyn Falconer

BIA Consulting

Catie Fry

Saleyards Distillery

Charity Hinchliffe

My Wedding Compare

Charlotte Jordans

My Lilli Pilli

Claire Moore

The Good Life Farm Co

Corona Brady

Corona Brady PTY Ltd

Debbie Moroney

Debbie Moroney Celebrant

Dorinda Cox

Inspire Change Consulting Group

Duean White

Career Steer

Elizabeth Threadingham

PEMSET Solutions

Emily Keys

Emily K Creative

Enza Lyons

Enza Lyons

Esther Joy Bowles

Essential Oil Education With Dr Joy

Eva Sifis

By Accident

Hannah Sutton

Hannah Sutton Design

Hayley O'Brien

Tree of Wings

Iva Novak

Elements for Excellence

Jacqueline Fleming

Whitsunday Health and Wellness Retreats

Jancee Benci

The Party Girl World

Jeanne Boles

The Well Institute of Training U/T trading as JBcoco

Jedess Hudson

Jedess Designs

Jemima Lewis


Jenny Yu


Jo Tonks

Watertight Group Pty Limited

Kara Cooper

Mount Vic and Me

Karen Demmery

TLMC Institute

Karen Martin

Yanalla Farms Pty Ltd

Karen Perks

First Food Co

Kathy Myers

Wishing you well

Katie Bowman

Made by Bowie

Katrina D'Orchimont

Nambini Boutique & Tea Garden

Kiara Stephenson

The River Block

Kirsten Atkinson

YINGARNA Australia

Laura Conti


Leanne Sanders

Visual Dreaming

Lesley Matthews


Liesl Addicoat

The Chilli Chick Shop

Lindy Chen

ChinaDirect Sourcing Pty Ltd

Lucy Sattler

Study Work Grow

Manjot Garcha

Essence Ayurveda

Marisol Bogaz

Araucana Natural Cosmetics

Meg Kummerow

Fly the Farm / Future Focused Business Solutions

Melinda Morris

Transport Auditing Services

Melissa Connors

This Farm Needs A Farmer

Michelle Stabile

Groovexone Hip Hop Dance Studio

Michelle Strother

Injury Prevention Plus P/L

Minnie Chambers

Minnie Rose

Miyuki Kruse

The Brisbane Japanese Language and Culture School

Natalie Bramble


Natasha McDowell

Peninsula Lighthouse

Rachael King

Myrtle & Pepper Fine Chocolate

Rebecca Weller

Padthaway Caravan Park

Rosie Turnbull

Rosie's Boutique Condiments

Sharon Brindley

Cooee Cafe PTY LTD

Sharon Longridge

Leadium: Where busy leaders learn (PURUSA PTY LTD)

Sheridan Beaumont

Sydney Oyster Tours

Soriya (Kelly) Kim

Kelly Kim Cleaning Services

Sujata Ruma Chakravarti

Honeyeater Sustainable Backyard Initiative

Thelma Vlamis

Thelma Vlamis

Theresa Liew

Theresa Liew

Tracy Hardy

Wattleseed Nutrition & Dietetics

Venu Cameron

Venuzi Pit Paste

Zali Yager

Zali Yager Research / Well Researched

Vicki Baensch

Australia Expat Travel

Luz Restrepo

Migrant Women in Business

1:1 mentoring

Successful applicants will be matched with a highly experienced business owner or leader who has been specifically selected to have the greatest impact on their business needs and goals. Mentors provide a minimum 2 hours of guidance every month. These partnerships will be nurtured and supported by a member of the Rare Birds team for the duration of the program.

Business Education Masterclasses

Led by Rare Birds Founder and CEO Jo Burston, along with other successful business leaders and entrepreneurs, these 1-hour deep dive sessions will give female founders in the program the hands-on tools they need to strengthen and scale their business sustainably. Topics covered include Strategy and Planning, Sales and Marketing, Growth vs Scaling, Managing Cash Flow and Business Management.

Connected Community

Women in the program will form a connected and supportive community of practice on a dedicated online platform. This is where they will find the tools to set and track their goals, a library of resources, and chat rooms where they can connect to seek and provide support. They will also become part of the broader Rare Birds community of business leaders and entrepreneurs

1:1 high-impact mentoring

Ongoing on-on-one mentoring discussions with an experienced business leader guide entrepreneurs through their business challenges and goals. Monthly business workshops with experts develop critical skills and knowledge.

Women across diverse groups

Scholarships are open to 90 marginal demographic women entrepreneurs and established small business owners seeking to advance their personal and business development by way of one-on-one mentoring.

About the Scholarship

  • 2 hours of one-on-one mentoring every month for 9 months with a business expert handpicked just for you
  • 8 x one-hour Business Building Masterclasses
  • Connection with a supportive community of like-minded business owners and leaders
  • Chat Forums
  • Check-in surveys to chart progress

Who can apply?

  • Identify as female;
  • Identify with at least one of the marginal demographics listed*;
  • Have an established and viable business (min 2 years) - can be either SME owner or sole trader;
  • Are an Australian citizen or permanent resident;
  • Can commit to 2 hours per month with their mentor;
  • Will participate and engage in Business Education Masterclasses (1 hour per month).
  • *Indigenous or Torres Strait Islander; rural, regional or remote location; migrant or refugee; low socio-economic background; disabled.

Benefits for Mentees

"Not only did I gain knowledge and skills in marketing me and the business, I gained confidence in putting it into practice. As a result my public profile was boosted significantly and my business has (no joke) doubled in size.”

- Mentee, Leah Cameron

“I realised I had won the mentee lottery when I met Leah Cameron from Marrawah Law during our first session. We had a great year together and while Leah says she learned a lot from me, I feel like she taught me a great deal too. She has inspired me to no end.” Read more

- Mentor, Monica Rosenfeld

Success Stories

Find out how this program boosted the knowledge, confidence and business growth of Mentees in the 2017/18 program


feel like their business will grow over the next 12 months.


feel more confident about their business capability.


have noted improvement in their focus areas
“This program has helped so much, my mentor has been pivotal to this business development.”
Nola Turner-Jensen
Principal Director, CrackerJack Education
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“Judith’s mentoring has been nothing short of a miracle for me personally and for our business."
Tanya Demello
Director of Client Relations, Emerald + Aqua
Screen Shot 2020-06-12 at 10.31.40 am
She’s been a terrific accountability partner. My mentor is helping me to keep on task, with some ambitious goals. It’s been life-changing experience.”
Karen Foster
Director, o2 Media
“The advice I have received from my Mentor has allowed me to confidently move forward with decisions to grow my business.”
Natalie Allen
Managing Director, Plan Design Draft
“Julene’s mentoring has been nothing short of amazing.”
Aliesha Smith
Owner, Unleashed Hair Boutique

Would you like to be matched with a Rare Birds Mentor to drive growth in your personal and professional life?

Our fully-managed program will take your information about where you are in your business and where you would like to be, and then match you with the Mentor from our database of business leaders and entrepreneurs who will have the most impact for you.

Register for more information or shop now!