As we approach International Women's Day, I urge all Australians to join me in celebrating the hard work and achievement of women in small businesses across our country.
93.3 percent of Australian women business operators are working in small business and current data suggests the number of women business owners is increasing across our nation. Labour force data shows women account for around a third of our nation’s business operators. This data from January this year shows there were 406,400 women running a business.
It is important to remember that women participate across the entire spectrum of our work force – from the highest echelons of the private sector to showing great spirit by starting up home based businesses.
As Minister for Small Business, every single day I come across inspiring examples of women leading the way in enterprise. I recognise that many juggle family commitments to participate in our work force and face unique challenges to this participation. I admire greatly this tenacity, clarity of purpose and courage.
My commitment is to ensure that Australia is the very best place to start and grow a small business. This is why we are working to ensure the settings are right for women in small businesses to prosper. With decreased red tape, increased access to information and assistance programs our goal is to see even more women in small business.
I have been holding roundtables with many women entrepreneurs over the past twelve months and hear the same opportunities and challenges are arising for each of them. Through our Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda we are working to provable remedy for the obstacles to enterprise and provide support to ensure female entrepreneurs can make the most of the opportunities in the market.
Through our trade agreements and programs like Women in Global Business Mentoring Program we are also making it easier for women to ensure their goods and services are export ready and that they have access to international markets.
For small business owners there is no substitute for customers, so I urge all Australians on International Women’s Day to show their support to the hard working women of small business and support their enterprising spirt through your custom.