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Deadline for women-owned SME survey extended

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Deadline for women-owned SME survey extended

The deadline for a survey of women who own and lead businesses has been extended by more than a week, until October 29th, by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO). 

The poll, launched earlier in October, seeks to identify any unique difficulties and opportunities faced by women who own and lead businesses.

“There has been a tremendous response so far — it is clear there is an appetite to engage, and we want to give more women business owners and leaders the chance to be heard,” ASBFEO, Billson said in a statement.

“A lot of business entrepreneurs that are women are those who have solved a problem in their life, shared that with their friends who thought, ‘Yes, you can do the same thing for me,’ and then that turns into, you know, side hustle and then on to a business.

“And, frankly, with COVID-19, there’s been more problems to solve than ordinarily has been the case, and we think if we can energise women’s entrepreneurship, that will be fantastic in terms of women’s economic empowerment but fab for the economy and livelihoods more generally.”

Speaking on Bathurst radio, Bruce Billson said the survey allows female business owners and executives to share their experiences and identify areas that appear to be more complicated than they should be.

“It [the survey] allows women business owners and leaders to share their experiences and to identify whether there are areas that seem to be more challenging than they need to be, mindful and respectful of, you know, it’s tough running a business.

“But if there are policy settings and government programs that can be finetuned or if we can electrify entrepreneurship with women business leaders, that’s fantastic,” Mr Billson said.

About the survey

The purpose of the poll is to get women-owned and women-led (WOWL) businesses to share their stories with the objective to identify issues and possibilities for WOWL businesses. 

This will aid in assessing policy measures that will boost prospects for small WOWL businesses and better support them. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and will be kept confidential unless otherwise requested. 

Mr Billson hopes that the survey’s findings will be used to determine how we can create the best possible environment in Australia for women to establish, grow, and run businesses.

“97% of women-owned and led businesses in Australia are small businesses, and small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy,” Mr Billson said. “Research has found that boosting the number of women entrepreneurs could contribute between $71–$135 billion to the Australian economy and up to $7 trillion globally.

“I encourage women business owners and operators to complete this survey so we can harness opportunities and look at how to address any needless headwinds or obstacles to their success.”

“The survey’s trying to say to women business leaders and entrepreneurs, what kind of roadblocks have you run into? Have there been needless headwinds that have stood between you and your business ambition? 

“[Our job] is identifying opportunities to improve the environment for small business and entrepreneurship, and we’re doing that through the lens of women business leaders’ experience.” 

More initiatives

Last month in September, the Australian Government announced a total of $52.2 million in grant funding for the second round of Boosting Female Founders Initiative. For Round 2, an estimated $11.6 million in grant funding was made available.

The programme aims to provide targeted co-contribution support to female founders of startup businesses (startups) in order for them to scale into domestic and global markets. The programme also offers expert mentoring and advice to eligible applicants.

As per the 2015 data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the office for women, just over a third of Australia’s business operators were women (34%). 

In June 2014, employed Australian women were almost half as likely to be employers (4.5% compared with 8.1% of employed Australian men), and two-thirds as possible to be sole operators (6% compared with 9% of employed Australian men).

The confidential survey can be accessed by visiting the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman website at www.asbfeo.gov.au or directly at WOWL survey

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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