On this, International Women’s Day, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, is pleased to acknowledge the importance of women in the workforce, and particularly women in small business.
“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to recognise the significant contribution women make to the small business sector,” Ms Carnell said.
“According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 34 per cent of Australian businesses are run by women – that’s 691,000 businesses.”
Over the past two decades, the number of female-run small businesses has grown by 46 per cent – a growth rate almost double of that to men starting their own business over the same period of time.
“Research has shown that for many women, starting a business provides the flexibility to work from home, opportunity to pursue a passion, and the ability to better juggle work and family commitments,” Ms Carnell said.
“As a former small-business owner, I understand what it’s like to work the long hours while looking after young children and running a household. So, my admiration of these women is genuine. In my role as Ombudsman, I talk to many women running successful businesses, and they all have great stories to tell.
“One of these women is Stacey Head, who won Entrepreneur of the Year at the Australian Small Business Champion Awards last year. Her business, she wear, is a revolution for women working in the trade industry, offering women’s safety footwear that is designed for women, by women.
“The brand has been so successful, the female contestants on The Block have worn the footwear,” Ms Carnell said.
Ms Head said that she believes her business has been successful because she designs her footwear from scratch to fit women correctly, comfortably and safely.
“Also, being a female-founded and run business, we know what our customers want, so we design exactly for their requirements and that resonates with our customer base,” Ms Head said. “So many people will tell you your idea won’t work and that you’re wasting your time. If your idea feels right and the numbers stack up and have potential, stick to your convictions, work hard and persevere!”