At online retailer, Bits of Australia, we’re calling for the achievements of Australian women in small business to be recognised and supported. The number of women starting businesses continues to grow and they are becoming significant contributors to the local economy, which should be celebrated ahead of International Women’s Day on Tuesday 8 March.
About 70% of our suppliers and designers were successful and inspiring women working independently or operating a small business, but more acknowledgement and support was needed to enable them to innovate and grow their business.
As a female owned and operated business, we experience the benefits and rewards, as well as the challenges and barriers first-hand. We also get to hear from our many suppliers and they tell us work-life-balance and self-confidence, access to finance, business knowledge and resources are some of their biggest issues.
While our core business at Bits of Australia is about championing Australian-made products and businesses, we also want to help increase awareness and influence change for the many other issues affecting us and our suppliers.
Bits of Australia will aim to celebrate and highlight these achievements more often and encourage and support women in business to grow their personal and professional confidence and skills. Combined, we have many years of valuable business experiences, successes and stories to share.
Small business plays an important role in the economy, employing around 4.5 million people and driving innovation in Australia. According to a recent ABS report, the number of women business operators in Australia has increased by 46% in the last decade – compared to just 27% for male business owners – and they now make up over a third, 34%, of all business operators.
International Women’s Day is an annual event that aims to recognise and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world, while increasing awareness and calling for action and progress towards gender equality.
We launched Bits of Australia in April 2014 as an online supplier of boutique Australian-made gifts and souvenirs. In support of women in small business, we aim to:
Micaela Smith, Founder and Director, Bits of Australia
 A Profile of Australian Women in Business – Report prepared by the AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS for the OFFICE FOR WOMEN, 2015