Thinking of starting or expanding your business? Why Australia may be the perfect location for a female entrepreneur
Business is booming for women in Australia. In the recently published 2019 Women Entrepreneurs Cities Index, Australian cities, Sydney and Melbourne, ranked in the top 15 business centres where women are most supported to establish and grow their own companies.
Melbourne, in particular, has improved in its ranking since 2017, rising five places since then. In the past few years, Australia has been the country of quite a few notable female entrepreneurial figures. As of 2019, 12.1% of the employed women in Australia were their own boss.
One glance at SmartCompany’s list of Top Female Entrepreneurs, and you can easily spot a variety of strong and inspiring women figures balancing both family life and business by either heading up small businesses or leading some of the most talked-about start-ups.
With such an explosion of female-led entrepreneurial spirit, what’s making Australia the female-led business hub?
It’s easier to secure funding to kickstart your plans
Securing the funding to get started is one of the most cited concerns for most women in business. However, in 2018 Sydney ranked 11th in the world for supporting women entrepreneurs, according to research by Dell.
One of the key factors in this ranking? Its strong network of support programmes aimed specifically at females. For 2018, Sydney saw an $80,000 total in grants catering just for female tech start-ups by TechSydney and Tech Ready Women. The programme is intended to help 450 women develop their business ideas into their own businesses.
Support does not stop there either. Over $100,000 was plugged into a scholarship fund aimed at educating and encouraging women to start their businesses. Government-supported programmes such as Boosting Female Founder’s initiative are set to provide both funding and support for women beginning in 2020.
The $18 million programme was announced in August this year, and follows the trend of Australian society taking note of the difficulties women entrepreneurs were facing when securing capital and access to expert advice.
Whether it is through private borrowing or access to government funding, these are just some of the expansive funding options available to help women get started.
You can maximise business training opportunities
Education and training is a priority in Australia, and this is very evident in the world of business. Incubator programmes such as IGNITE and Accelerate are plentiful, while regional organisations like the Women in Business Regional Network also offer services such as training and advice with business areas including digital marketing, public speaking and achieving the work/life balance.
Whether it is through certified classes or business mentorship and coaching, these opportunities open up new doors for women in business, and equip them with the technical knowledge typically behind a successful business.
You can make use of expert advisory services in business strategy and logistics
Every decision to be made, whether you are new or looking to expand your business to a new market, can be supported with the help of financial institutions, professional organisations and published guides online, right down to navigating your choice of advertising or choosing your business location.
For women looking to expand to their business to new territories, the expert advice from local business organisations in different Australian cities can help you learn the requirements needed (including legal permits), alert you to existing locations for rent, and even help you with the necessities needed for your move, whether you are looking to secure moving services or buy luggage online.
A larger female hub means a stronger network
Growth and collaboration is a natural progression in any business. For some women, collaboration opens up the doors to new markets, while for new female entrepreneurs, it helps them get started in the industry.
With more women taking up the mantle in business, this means the network for support and collaboration is growing exponentially in Australia, and that is a great thing for any current or budding businesswomen.
Organisations such as the Women’s Network Australia and Australian Women Network both provide a wide-spanning platform for women in business to connect, and make it possible for knowledge and experience to be shared.
One simple search for business support for women turns up an expansive list of women in business networking and professional groups in cities across Australia, such as SOAR Collective, Babes in Business, Motivating Mum, and a host of others. Also, the diversity of that list shows the support that exists for women entrepreneurs regardless of their stage in life. This means you are bound to find friendly allies, be able to learn from their experience, and apply this in your own business.
With the conversation surrounding women entrepreneurs getting louder, Australia is one of the places where we can truly see this goal becoming a reality.
Whether it is thanks to a more proactive approach to fostering and encouraging the female population, or wider access to the needed resources, one thing is definite: it has never been a better time to be a woman in business in Australia.
Photo by CoWomen