THE Seed Scheme is the most exciting female-focused, rurally based, blended delivery enterprise & leadership development program in the world!
Part incubator, part business school, part leadership program and part life-academy, THE Seed Scheme brings together geographically disparate women who want to grow a business, enterprise or idea and provides them a unique and supportive environment in which to Bloom.
We know that women thrive when their environment supports this thriving and so often in rural communities people get ‘stuck’ in the sameness, slow change and environmental conditions that inhibit new ideas, growth and individuals reaching full potential.
We are changing this through THE Seed Scheme by providing access to activating, unique and creative environments on and offline that inspire and support transformation and enterprise potential.
To achieve our goals, we partner with like-minded and future focused business and organisations who are passionate about or have vested interests in the economic and social expansion of rural communities.
They become active participants in the journey of THE Seed Scheme Members and POD’s by providing scholarship funds for participation and offering their unique guidance/support to the Members as well.
Partners and Members become part of a regenerative eco-system of support and flow and there is mutual benefit for all stakeholders.
‘From little things big things grow’ Paul Kelly
We have to be deliberate if we are to affect change.
The rise of women-led enterprises globally and the ensuing economic and social benefit, has been as a direct result of deliberate investment.
In rural communities around the world there is evidence of this change, with eyes firmly on the ‘start up’ and ‘big agtech’ space.
However, our research suggests that this will miss the mark for a large majority of rural women – who do not aspire to be ‘the next unicorn’ but who instead want to know their work matters and contributes to their community and who want to be financially well-rewarded for the work they do in enterprise/ideation and business.
This is where THE Seed Scheme becomes a powerful agent of change – in small increments, with a focus on long term support.
“This equalization follows decades of legislative, policy and socio-cultural changes that have gradually empowered, supported and trained women to perceive opportunities and believe they have the capabilities to start businesses.” Forbes
While most entrepreneur development programs are short term (6 weeks – 6 months) THE Seed Scheme takes a long term (evolutionary) approach to business growth, offering 12 months of focused weekly support in business, leadership and technology provided by subject matter experts and mentors who are also rural women. This support is made available through live online group training and mentoring, monthly co-working/networking/mentoring, masterclasses, events and POD based activity. All support is accessible LIVE, online, some face to face and recorded for watching 24/7.
The Scheme also provides Members the opportunity to continue accessing the support beyond, on an affordable fee for service model.
We know enterprise evolves and that access to support through change and growth is critical to success and wellbeing.
Where 96% of small businesses fail within the first 12 months and only 1-5% of start ups achieve investment, THE Seed Scheme aims to shift this. Helping businesses at start-up and growth, in a continual and evolving process that meets them where they are at with the support they need then.
Clarity in her vision and ambition, in her product/service, in her financial goal and profitability, in her marketing and sales process and in her own aspirations for life and business
Confidence in herself, to take her product/service to market, in her ability to succeed
Connection to the tools and training she needs to achieve her goals, the technology required to take her products/services to market and a powerful network of supporters, customers and mentors and to Partners who can help her achieve her goals
Consistency in the support she receives, in her action taking, in her belief in herself, in her business model and systems, in her profit and in her decision making
With its roots in Australia, in 2018, THE Seed Scheme set out to enable the development of 700 rurally based, women-led enterprises nationwide, injecting $17.5 million back into the rural economy and returning enormous social value to the participating Members, Partners and their communities.
With 100 women given access to date, in our first 6 months, 50% of our Member PODS reported an increase of $15,000+ to their revenue and 10% of our Member PODS reported a doubling of revenue.
We expect that the women who actively participate in THE Seed Scheme Program and do the work on their business, that the average first year annual revenue will be $35,000 with revenue ranging from $15,000 – $55,000. Our goal will be for 60% of active Members to achieve average or above average turnover goals with profitability as a core focus. With a scaffolded support, education and peer mentoring, we expect that a high percentage of our Members will go on to become small businesses and a smaller percentage will become medium business which will see the economic and social impact of THE Seed Scheme expand exponentially in years and decades to come.
SS Member Business
invested by a partner
Our partners understand we are in it for the long game so they are willing to work with us as we #evolve and as THE Seed Scheme gains momentum.
Our partners want the same thing – blooming great rural and regional communities with #thriving people in it – and they are willing to co-invest in this unique approach to the achievement of that desire.
There are significant advantages of becoming a Partner in THE Seed Scheme, not the least of which is access to an incredible community of passionate, motivated and inspiring rural women!
THE Seed Scheme partners include banks, corporate and medium sized businesses, local government and not for profit organisations.
We are proud to be partnering with the University of New England to undertake an Impact study on the work of THE Seed Scheme and THE Rural Woman in 2019. We will be happy to share the results when we have them!
Rebel and Kevin Dupe Regional Australia Bank
Rebel and Phil Johnston from Narromine
The evidence globally says that women are more likely to re-invest in communities, resulting in improved life conditions for all.
‘When a rural woman blooms, all around her bloom too – it’s a powerful and deeply felt ripple,’ Rebel Black
This is not to shift responsibility for social and economic change to women, but to recognise that investment in women’s growth has value and benefit for more than the individual being invested in.
“Women’s economic participation and their ownership and control of productive assets speeds up development, helps overcome poverty, reduces inequalities and improves children’s nutrition, health, and school attendance. Women typically invest a higher proportion of their earnings in their families and communities than men.” OECD
In a circular manner, a partner becomes involved, with a desire that is identified and able to be achieved through the Partnership.
Then we deliver THE Seed Scheme campaign and program – in communities of need and where desire for support is high.
Members selected in the process gain access to 12months support, subsidized by the Partner and we support them to ‘do the work’ and ‘get results’.
We work with the partner the whole time, providing updates and reports and, through our work together the Partner receives return value, as expressed in our discussions and agreement.
At the end of the 12 months, Members are invited to continue receiving support through fee for service and they accept or decline this offer.
Since launching in late 2018, THE Seed SCheme has been operating in the communities of:
If you would like to Express Interest for your Town/Community/Region to be part of THE Seed Scheme, please complete this EOI Form
THE Seed Scheme program is developed and managed by THE Rural Woman – a global community of rural women blooming where they are. They are passionate about fostering connection, nurturing new enterprise and building resilience in Rural Women around the world.
THE Rural Woman’s mission is to re-imagine connection for isolated people and to enable rural women to both #livelocalgrowglobal and #bloomwheretheyareplanted.
Since launching in 2015 the team has been delivering award-winning world-class mentoring, training and coaching in business, leadership and personal development. With the head office located in the outback opal mining town of Lightning Ridge, NSW, the business has a team of 15 across Australia and Asia including coaches, administrative, tech and training consultants, a membership of 100+ active users and a weekly reach of 20,000.
THE Rural Woman is a rapidly expanding influencer and activator in the use of technology and micro-enterprise to catalyse the renewal of rural communities in Australia and across the world.
In 2015 THE Rural Woman was recognised as a Regional Online Hero by Google and Regional Australia Institute, in 2016 were awarded a Lexus & Collective Hub Start Up Award and in 2019 received the Coup de Couer Du Jury in the International Women in Tech Challenge in Paris