October 7, 2021

Havas Hustle returns to support women-led startups and entrepreneurs

by Andrea Philips in News

For the second year running, Havas Village Australia (Host/Havas, Havas Media, Red Havas and One Green Bean) is supporting startups and entrepreneurs with its Havas Hustle initiative. This year, its aim is to level the gender playing field by helping women entrepreneurs and founders.

The Havas Village team will provide access to free advice and support via a one hour online meeting with one of over forty specialists from across the Havas Village’s breadth of capability, including strategy, creative, media, design, PR, social, influencer, experiential, innovation, UX, CX, tech consulting, experience design, production, digital, SEO, e-commerce, retail/shopper, sponsorship, brand partnerships, data and analytics, management, commercial and contractual matters, finance, HR, and more.

“Over the past 20 years, the number of women-led businesses in Australia has increased by just 3%[1] and women run less than one in three businesses1. Since the pandemic began it has only worsened, with women-led businesses accounting for just 22% of all registered start-ups in 2020[2]. Despite data showing that startups run by women tend to perform better than average, they are under-represented in this vital sector[3], which is why we want to focus our efforts in this area,” said Laura Aldington, CEO Host/Havas.

“I started my own business, Hyland Media, in my 20s, and understand first hand that there are significant challenges and barriers to entry keeping women founders and entrepreneurs from getting their business ideas off the ground. The Australian Government’s Department of Industry[4] recently found that women entrepreneurs face hurdles including difficulty accessing supportive networks and information, and lack confidence in either themselves or their business ideas, we can help with that,” said Virginia Hyland, CEO Havas Media Group.

“Last year the Havas Hustle helped over 200 businesses with a wide range of business consulting from our talented team of over 40 specialists. This year we are taking those learnings and expanding the offering of Havas Hustle from one to one coaching to an online speaker series and a special focus on four businesses that will get additional support,” said Simone Gupta, CEO Havas PR Australia (Red Havas and One Green Bean).

Havas Village will be hosting an online speaker series for all applicants on the most requested topics, including contributions from their three CEOs, Laura Aldington (Host/Havas and H/Commerce), Simone Gupta (Havas PR Australia) and Virginia Hyland (Havas Media Group).

In addition, the expanded Havas Hustle will see four women entrepreneurs with businesses at a market-ready stage selected to receive additional support, joining the new incubator initiative. This will provide further specialist resources over a three-month period, including six mentoring sessions with the CEOs as well as incremental resources to further support their businesses.

The second iteration follows the success of the inaugural Havas Hustle that provided over 100 hours of free support to help more than 200 people from the advertising and marketing industry with their side hustles when the covid pandemic hit in 2020.


Submit an application for Havas Hustle here: havashustle.com.au.

[1] Wade Institute : Women and Entrepreneurship Report

[2] SBS News : Number of women founders

[3] SmartCompany Article : Gender Bias Women Startups

[4] Australian Government – Dept of Industry : Challenges for Female Entrepreneurs