Accelerator program applications open

Business in Heels' Emma Carter and CEO Lisa Sweeney with 2023 Business Accelerator graduates Tamara Shaw, Simone Araujo Gugliandolo, Terri Wilby and Nichole Chambers. (Supplied)

Applications are open for the 2024 of the City-sponsored Business Accelerator scholarships.

The 12-month program, delivered by Business in Heels, is open to local women who are looking to start their own business or grow their existing one.

Since 2018 the program has offered a range of services and supports, including business mentoring, round the clock support from trainers, regular group sessions and an online course covering everything from marketing and social media strategies to business planning and cash flow.

Having run in past years with five participants, the Business Accelerator scholarships’ success has seen the City of Greater Geelong increase its support to provide 10 places in the program this year.

Business in Heels chief executive Lisa Sweeney said the program was all about empowering female start-ups and existing businesswomen in Greater Geelong.

“Our program includes tailored mentoring, guidance, online learning and community support, designed to transform them into confident businesswomen,” Ms Sweeney said.

“We are proud that some of our past participants have now become employers.”

Amazed Gluten Free’s Simone Araujo Gugliandolo recently graduated from the 2023 Business Accelerator scholarship program.

She said the scholarship’s supportive community and invaluable resources transformed her dreams into reality.

“Business in Heels played a crucial role in refining and rebranding my business, which was a pivotal step in positioning my business more effectively in the market and attracting a broader audience,” Simone said.

“Through one-on-one mentorship sessions and expert-led workshops, I gained invaluable insights into pricing strategies, market analysis, and value propositions.

“I am deeply grateful to the City of Greater Geelong for providing us with this opportunity.

“My experience with Business in Heels has been nothing short of transformative. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a dynamic and empowering community.”

Expressions of interest close Friday, July 19, with the 2024 program starting in August. Visit for more information.