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Women SME owners worry more about staff issues than men – national insurance survey

Thursday, 11 August 2017

Source: Vero Insurance

Women running small and medium sized businesses worry more about employee issues than their male counterparts, according to a national survey carried out by Vero Insurance, part of the Suncorp Group.

More than 1500 small business owners* – 45% of them women – were surveyed for the annual Vero SME Insurance Index.

“Female SME owners are a significant contributor to the overall dynamism of the small business sector in Australia,” said Vero’s Head of Commercial Intermediaries, Anthony Pagano.

“There are several important nuances between female and male SME decision makers.”

Managing staff makes running SMEs more complex, and female and male owners are equally likely (at around 80%) to claim that they feel responsible for their employees.

However, the Index found that women worry more about employee issues.

Approximately 24% of females rank employee safety in their top three business concerns, compared to only 17% of males.

Around 23% of females cite concerns about attracting and retaining talent in their top three concerns, compared to 17% of males.

The Index also found that women are more likely to have smaller businesses than their male counterparts.

About 85% of female SME owners are in micro businesses (with four or less people working in the business), compared to 79% of males. Turnover is also likely to be lower, with 43% of female owners reporting an annual turnover of less than $100k.

As with males, female business owners have a range of motivations for starting businesses.

However, they are significantly more likely to value the flexibility that owning their business offers.

More than half of all female owners say this is their main motivation for going into business, compared to 42% of their male counterparts. The desire for flexibility is even more pronounced in micro businesses.

The Index is primarily aimed to help insurance brokers understand the needs of SME clients.

“The research suggests there is a general tendency for female owners to take insurance even more seriously than their male counterparts. It’s an important client segment market for brokers,” said Mr Pagano.

*In some cases, the women surveyed were the decision makers within the business rather than direct owners. 



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