Australia was rated 14th as the best place to be a woman social entrepreneur by Thomson Reuters Foundation (2016) and in response to a tweet to @Techstars co-founder David Cohen advised Chooks SA that he would guess that 15 -20% of Techstar supported start ups have women as CEO's.
In the USA, female entrepreneurs start companies with 50% less capital than male entrepreneurs, according to Access to Capital by High-Growth Women-Owned Businesses, from research commissioned by the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC).
The situation in Australia and in particular South Australia is unclear - it seems about 20% of funds for start ups go to women - we want to know more and are investigating to try and get the facts.
This inequity and the knowledge that we are stronger together Chooks was formed to:
We apply a gender lens not rose coloured glasses.
We build ourselves up without tearing anyone else down.
Two programs are about to be announced under a new entity called the Hen House.
The Incubator - a customised 10 week program for empowered female founders ready to learn and create a micro-enterprise.
Hatched - a customised wrap around support system for female founded enterprises ready to scale.
To register interest
We will also be hosting our 1st Turn the Curve event to close the gender investment gap later in the year for members of the Hen House. Stay tuned!
Regardless of age or experience we can learn from one another. Connecting deeply through vulnerability and curiosity.
Learn from a woman who has "been there, done that" or perhaps you are a woman who is willing to share your wisdom gained from experience.
If you are a bloke and want to increase gender equity and inclusion in your business - we can help you too!
Mentor matching is now open.
If you are interested in being either a mentor or mentee drop us a line.
Making SA #1
We are stating our case.
Let's make South Australia the #1 place in the world for investment in women innovators and entrepreneurs.
Check out all the details here.
Our manifesto was shared extensively during the 2018 State Election.
We will continue to make the case to close the gender investment gap.
Showing Up Together
Memorable experiences putting the Eve in events, bringing a gender lens to issues and hearing from special guests. Events are catalytic, bring analysis and action.
A range of events are on offer regularly in the
Moira Were AM
Moira has set up Chooks to bring experience across the generations through creating places and spaces. It's time for more equity and a gender lens to be brought to entrepreneurs and innovators in start-ups and social enterprises. She has worked from the kitchen table as a direct service social worker through to the cabinet table as a Chief of Staff to a Government Minister. Moira has extensive strategic and operational experience in the not-for-profit sector and in government at state, regional, national and international levels. Giving a leg-up or free advice to young women is second nature. Chooks is taking that to the next level and you are invited to come too.
In the Hen House
Lights. Camera. Action
It's been a while
26 March 2019
So much has been happening in the Hen House, there has been little time to tell everyone what is going on.
We have been laying some eggs.
We hit 2000 members in the online community early in 2019 and got accepted into the inaugural co-op incubator program. In this program we have been exploring how we are going to take Chooks to the next level and address the gaps for women who, for whatever reason, find themselves excluded from an entrepreneurial path.
We held our third Strut your Stuff as part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival and walked and talked our way through our heritage of being the first place in the world where women could vote AND stand for parliament.
As a co-founder of Collab4Good, Moira helped with the move to their new home at Welland. Special deals and events will be announced in coming weeks.
We have been continuing to bring the issue of the gender investment gap to investors, government officials, funders, women themselves and had a great conversation with the Chief Entrepreneur.
We have some exciting news to come and there will be announcements on April 30, if you are in the Facebook group or signed up here you will hear about those before they go public.
4 April 2018
Chooks is very excited to be joining with three passionate female founders have come together to amplify our efforts to create retail, learning, incubation and kitchen space for ourselves and other innovators and entrepreneurs to boost the social innovation sector in South Australia.
We want to collaborate, accelerate and impact the lives of young people (KIK innovation), women (Harvest Fair), homeless people (GOGO events) and bring our movement for gender Chooks SA) and for-purpose business. We have a space - the former kiosk at the Former Royal Adelaide Hospital. We have the support of our customers, members and networks, we have the property manager (Renewal SA) and now we need your support to get the fit out finished so we can get to work together!
We believe in the wisdom of the crowd and we are all big fans of StartSomeGood and we hope this community will back us.
So far: KiK has generated 45 meaningful job outcomes for disadvantaged youth; GOGO events has created 85 meaningful job outcomes and Chooks SA has grown in less than a year to almost 1600 members in an online community. Just imagine how much more social impact can be achieved through the creation of this shared space for social innovators.
We are crowdfunding to get the venue fitted out and am overwhelmed by the support to date! If you want to chip in to help the campaign before 6th April we'd love to have your contribution to help us impact.
9 October 2017 Winnovation Awards
During Open State the 4th annual Winnovation Awards were held on Friday 6 October and many "chooks" were among the nominees, finalists and winners (congratulations to Amy Orange and Louise Nobes)!
Winnovation finalist and Founder of Chooks Moira Deslandes and winner of Social Impact Award Louise Nobes founder of Inspired BUYs and KiK Coffee were interviewed on the iN Show. Have a listen here.
Spring in our steps
15 September 2017 Advocacy Update
This month we have been keeping an eye on all male panels and can report efforts have included bringing to the attention of two key leading networks that it's 2017! We have had some success too and as a consequence have added a page to the website to help those who need a hand to address this phenomena.
Thinker in Residence, Allyson Hewitt will be back later this month as part of Open State. Chooks is pleased to accept an invitation from the Don Dunstan Foundation to speak at their showcase as part of the Social Capital Residencies.
Chooks is also joining the Real Day Out a program from Year 10 students being hosted by Career Blueprint and have created a couple of infographics for the occasion.
Can't stop collaborating
10 August 2017
The closed Facebook group is a veritable hot-bed of self-organising, In the past few weeks Chooks members who didn't know each other have:
... and that is just what we know about!
Speak your truth to power
6 July 2017 Mustering for Equal Opportunity
Companies from Uber to StartMate are reviewing what they need to do to be more equitable, female friendly and inclusive. Diversity on panels, decision-making bodies, in the lab, classroom and board room is needed - after all it is 2017!
This week Chooks delivered some ideas to the Equal Opportunity Commissioner (SA) on how to further gender equity in SA, in particular how to address it using public policy levers. Watch this space as those ideas get traction. Chooks is pitching for 50% of government funding for start ups and social enterprises to be allocated female founders and female led innovation. This lever would change the ecosystem with more effort put into the pipeline, cultural change and development of pathways to enable and foster success for women.
Data is vital and gender differentials are embedded into this year's Start Up Muster more than before, so take time to contribute to the annual census for start ups in Australia - the truth is out there!
25 May 2017 Let's Get this Done
Before action, silence, to connect us to our roots and the women who we have known as innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders in the equity movement. Next up armed with facts and figures as fuel, Dr Niki Vincent, Equal Opportunity Commissioner left no room for complacency and prosecuted the case for gender equity from pay slips to venture capital. A conversation with pioneering design user strategist Melissa Cooper and public servant willing to listen from the Office of Digital Government, Tina Ferguson explored the skills, talents and trajectories of women in the field of startups and enterprise. To literally bring home the bacon and the pan and the passion and the humour, poet Tracey Korsten sent us on our way to advocate for our selves, gender and for purpose and profit. We are big fans of Cindy Gallop so had a little squeal when she retweeted Tracey performing at our launch. The social media wrap up is here.
Brainstorming Female Founder Stories
18 May 2017 Conversation at WOTSO
Inspired by the Y Combinator Female Founders Conference coming up in San Francisco, four women gathered to explore the idea of lessons from female founders and how to learn them.
We also went to hear the presentation by rocket scientist Flavia Tata Nardini of Fleet Space hosted by Startmate. Flavia's humble and honest presentation about her work and the vision of Fleet is inspiring. We wish her well for her launch into space literally early next year.
Chooks is exploring how to offer self-organised, slightly curated conversational dinners to hear female founders stories. Stay tuned.
PS These gatherings started in June 2017.
Meeting with Allyson Hewitt
12 May 2017 Social Capital Residencies
An opportunity to influence and provide advice on the ecosystem in South Australia for start ups, entrepreneurs and social enterprises. We talked with Allyson about what's missing, what could be strengthened, ideas for low hanging fruit and ways to unlock potential.
Moira Were, founder of Chooks and Sarah Gun, founder of GoGo Events (one of the ten 2017 Westpac Social Change Fellowship holders) presented to Allyson on how to help make SA the Social Capital of the world! Allyson barely got a word in!
Read the blog to get a glimpse of what we had to say.
Women in Social Innovation
4 May 2017 Panel Guest
Hosted by NOW Academy, Women in Social Innovation was held as part of the Don Dunstan Foundation's Social Capital Residencies program. Special guest was Allyson Hewitt, from Toronto's MaRS. And getting to know the NOW team and Winnovation was a great part of the process. It was an opportunity to talk about Chooks, provide some facts to the audience and build the movement.
PS Allyson has left us some homework. We have 3 months to get it done.