Dynamic Business Logo
Home Button
Bookmark Button

Female entrepreneurs in the Pacific beat Aussie counterparts

New survey data has revealed that female entrepreneurs in the Pacific are having more success at breaking into the export market than their Australian counterparts.

The Pacific Export Survey, which included 14 Pacific nations as well as Australia, found some 27 per cent of companies were run by women.

Survey consultant Tim Harcourt, economist and J.W. Nevile Fellow in economics at the University of New South Wales’ Australian School of Business, said three times the number of Pacific women are getting into export markets compared to Australia. Locally, around 11 per cent of export companies are run by women.

The survey, co-commissioned by Pacific Islands Trade and Invest, and the Australian Government identified access to finance as a major obstacle. Indeed, in the Pacific, Mr Harcourt said businesses are seeking more foreign investment and export opportunities, rather than aid. A key problem though is that foreign investors still finding the Pacific a small and expensive market.

“The survey said ‘Look, we have had [Australian aid] programs for years and we have had handouts. But what we really want is commercial opportunities so we can build up our capacity,” Mr Harcourt said.

Ultimately, the main challenge for exporters in the Pacific is the size of their businesses. “They are pretty small places, very small populations. Access to finance was a big issue and basically getting enough foreign investment,” Mr Harcourt said.

Beyond private investment, Harcourt believes it is also in the Pacific’s interest to have a formal trade pact with Australia and New Zealand. “They could have an internal market with Australia and New Zealand and that would get them towards that first step in terms of scale.”

What do you think?

    Be the first to comment

Add a new comment

Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie is the editor-at-large of Dynamic Business. Stephanie brings with her a passion for journalism, business, and new ideas. On her days off, you might find her reading a book on the beach.

View all posts