Instagram Partners With Are Media To Launch ‘Instagram Academy’ For Young Female Entrepreneurs

May 2013. Sydney. Jane Huxley, Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand, Pandora. (

Instagram Australia is launching the first Instagram Academy, an exclusive accelerator program for young female entrepreneurs under the age of 25 who are ready to take their business to the next level.

Applications are now open to be selected in the “25 Under 25” who’ll participate in the Instagram Academy, in partnership with Are Media.

Today’s launch of Instagram Academy also coincides with the release of Are Media’s report – Empowering Enterprises: Young female entrepreneurs in Australia. The unprecedented study shows how the pandemic has fuelled an increase in female-led businesses, while laying bare the challenges of sexism and discrimination experienced by young women, and the opportunities they see in digital platforms and education.

The report uncovered young women continue to face adversity in business, with 87 per cent agreeing that sexist attitudes still exist, and almost three-quarters (72 per cent) feel there isn’t enough diversity in their industry.

Despite these challenges, young female entrepreneurs are utilising digital platforms to their advantage, with two out of three agreeing that social media is a key driver for growing their business.

In fact, 92 per cent of respondents said Instagram was their most important marketing channel, even more than a website (91 per cent). The research also found 79 per cent of young women want to upskill or increase training to evolve their business, which is why Instagram is partnering with Are Media to offer 25 young women a place in the Instagram Academy.

As part of this they’ll receive:

● Best-practice education: An exclusive digital training experience at Instagram Academy, showing business-owners everything they need to know about nailing the ‘Gram.

● Industry experts: Advice and mentorship from some of Australia’s leading business experts including Lillian Ahenkan AKA @flex.mami, Grace Brennan, Founder of @buyfromthebush, and Laura Thompson and Sianna Catullo from @clothingthegaps.

● Coaching and support: 1-1 coaching from a member of the Facebook Australia sales team offering bespoke advice specifically for the participants.

● Business grant: $1,000 in Facebook ad credits to boost their business to customers across Instagram, Facebook and more.

● National visibility: The final 25 will be showcased in announcements and articles across Are Media’s titles including Marie Claire, ELLE, Girlfriend and more. Instagram is committed to substantive gender equality and recognises the particular challenges faced by young female entrepreneurs.

This measure will help to address these needs and inequalities for young women with the potential to grow their business in the digital economy.

From Alisha Elliott, Head of Policy Programs, Facebook ANZ: “Today’s research shows that while young women still face significant challenges in the business world, they have ambitious goals and the tools to turn their dreams into reality. Instagram is where the vast majority of young women are launching their businesses, and we’re thrilled to support their growth with the launch of the Instagram Academy accelerator program. With the support of Are Media, along with some of Australia’s leading female creators and business leaders, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for entrepreneurs to unlock their potential.”

From Jane Huxley, CEO of Are Media [featured image]: “It’s so heartening to see so many smart, ambitious, young women stepping out to build their businesses from the ground up, and many doing so with little financial support. While there sadly remains some entrenched challenges, technology and social platforms are reducing the barriers to entry and route to market for many of these exceptional female entrepreneurs, and that can only be a positive thing.

“As Australia’s largest premium content and experiences company for women, Are Media is committed to championing the lives, lifestyles and careers of women across all ages. We’re delighted to partner with Instagram on this important initiative, and I look forward to being part of the judging panel and seeing the winning stories shared with our audiences across our brands.”

From the Hon Jane Hume, Minister for Women’s Economic Security and Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy: “The challenges of COVID-19 are forging an entrepreneurial culture, the likes of which we’ve never seen before. Young women in particular are taking the future into their own hands, and they’re leveraging digital tools to do so. Digital is no longer just a marketing add-on, so when this drive is combined with the right support, big things can happen.

“Over the past two decades, the number of female-run small businesses has grown by 46 per cent, that’s almost double the rate for those run by men. These women are helping to drive our nation’s economic future and are leading the way in embracing the benefits of our digital economy. That’s why programs like Instagram Academy, which support young women in business, are so important.”


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