Business Matrix, from its inception, was an ambitious project.
Not only financially ambitious, but also as the first women’s incubator, in a male dominated climate, it was an immense step towards creating greater equality between the genders. During the eighties and nineties – as women were taking on the multifaceted and complex roles of motherhood, career, or both – Business Matrix was a timely venture for the Victorian Women’s Trust. Business Matrix sought to remedy the situation which women were faced in the culture of the nineties, as small businesses floundered, and assistance for women in business was lacking.
Having secured half a million dollars through the (then) Department of Employment Training and Youth Affairs, the timely and unique nature of the project was further emphasized by the enthusiasm of Victorian Women’s Trust. During the project’s lifespan, Business Matrix hosted over 40 tenants, the majority of which went on to become successful independent companies.
It promoted local seminars and training workshops which assisted the business knowledge and skills for hundreds of women business owners. During its time at 288 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, it was estimated that the incubator contributed in excess of $2.3 m to the local economy within the City of Yarra.
Business Matrix adopted the following principles, turned them into practice and showed that they are an effective formula for supporting women in small business.
Your business, your community – participants believe in giving something back to the community.
We had the privilege of interviewing June Oscar AO, a Bunuba Woman from the Central Kimberley Region and one of Australia’s great Indigenous leaders. She is joint CEO of the Marninwarntikura Fitzroy River Women’s Centre where she has played a key role in uncovering and addressing the extraordinarily high number of children afflicted by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).
We all deserve the freedom to determine the course of our own lives, without financial struggle.
We all have the right to be seen, heard and recognised for our contributions to society.