YWCA Canberra CEO Frances Crimmins was proud to announce the 2021 grant recipients. Photos: Kerrie Brewer

Nine Canberra women have been recognised for their Great Ydeas at the Great Ydeas Innovation Breakfast yesterday, 29 April, receiving a grant to help make their dreams a reality.

This year, financial literacy workshops for young women, a new platform to buy and sell second-hand clothes, and a program to support a more positive education program on menstruation are just three of nine projects funded through YWCA Canberra’s Great Ydeas Small Grants Program.

Supported by Beyond Bank, Sustineo and the Canberra Innovation Network, as well as by YWCA Canberra, the Great Ydeas grants have been offered to women, girls, female-identifying and non-binary people as a way for them to pursue their passions and improve the community.

YWCA Canberra CEO, Frances Crimmins, said the grants are a highlight for the organisation each year, as they connect to its core mission of ‘girls and women thriving’.

“They’re always amazing,” she said.

“There’s so many little programs, community-based grassroots programs, that have started from a Great Ydea, and that’s just what’s so exciting every year because you know … they’ll be standing on their own.”

Since its inception in 2010, the Great Ydeas grant program has seen the launch of numerous successful, and still active, enterprises and projects, including Kate Crowhurst’s financial literacy podcast.

Great Ydeas partners, Sustineo, Beyond Bank and the Canberra Innovation Network, each contributed funding to support additional grants to be awarded this year, and collectively have funded an additional five projects.

Camille Schloeffel was the recipient of a YWCA Canberra grant for her Safe Response Toolkit, a project that will provide information to victim-survivors of sexual violence and their supporters.

Ms Crimmins said that YWCA Canberra and its partners have been blown away by the projects presented by this year’s applicants and were “delighted” to receive so many applications. 

“This year, we once again have been blown away by the creativity, passion and commitment to making an impact that our applicants have shown,” she said.

“The diversity of the projects we’re funding is testament to the rich and vibrant culture of innovation and change-making we have in Canberra.”

Ms Crimmins said that several of the projects were incredibly timely, including a Safe Response Toolkit Project, which will provide information to victim-survivors of sexual violence.

“Our sponsors have different priority areas, so it’s always very broad,” she said.

 “It could be something for your own personal development and growth, it doesn’t necessarily have to be about a social enterprise.”

While funding is important when supporting Great Ydeas, Ms Crimmins said the main thing the recipients need to get started is belief in their idea.

“If your idea doesn’t work that’s okay too, at least you’ve tried,” she said. “That’s just part of trying and that’s what we really want to see and harness in women; just try.”

Applications for the next Great Ydeas program will open in February 2022.

For more information, visit the YWCA Canberra website.

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