There has been a dramatic increase in the number of female led businesses in Australia, as a result of advances in technology, home based, mobile friendly, and family friendly work environments.
This new era in business has seen women today owning more than a third of Australia’s small businesses. This is a 46% increase over the past 20 years. According to Georgina Dent, Australian Financial Review women run just over 30 per cent of all small businesses, globally.
Women are taking advantage of gaps in the market, taking a lead in their own financial security, and addressing existing and personal needs with start up businesses. What they bring with them is intuition, skills and experiences, processes and products, and this presents a great opportunity.
Director of The Alternative Board’s Northern Suburbs – Pittwater Board, Crystal Petzer is a great example of this. Crystal became one of Caltex’s first female franchisees, and while raising a young family, undertook her MBA. Crystal went on to own and operate two Hire a Hubby Businesses, before taking on her own start up business “Office Shed”.
There are many challenges that come with business ownership, and these differ for men and women. 88.7% of women claim their biggest challenge in running a small business is having to split time between work and family (as opposed to men 65.9%); after this came the financial restraints, followed by gender bias.
Lahle Wolfe in her article Overcoming Challenges Facing Women in Business identified these challenges, and suggested that to help women succeed in business focus needs to be given to creating a strong support network, learning new ways to balance work and home, and staying current on issues that present challenges and the solutions to overcome these.
The Alternative Board has experienced first hand the growth of women-led businesses attending monthly Peer Advisory Board meetings, as a way to overcome these challenges, and perceived obstacles to success. The ratios of male to female board members has reduced significantly over the past year, with an increase of around 75% in female entrepreneurs joining Peer Advisory Boards this year alone.
The demand in programs for women entrepreneurs has resulted in TAB’s first women’s advisory board, facilitated by Sarah Morgan, The Alternative Board Parramatta. The first of these meetings this year was well attended, and discussed new market opportunities, human resource strategies, business process development, value selling and global marketing.
The Alternative Board have female business advisors and Board facilitators available throughout QLD, NSW and VIC, with a range of skills to support women-led businesses.
If you are a woman in business looking to take your small business to the next level get in touch today. We would love to talk to you about your business opportunities and challenges!
Connect with a local female advisor here: