Why We Should Support Women-Owned Businesses in Australia

We have made great progress as a society in conscious shopping and raising the standards of businesses we put our time and money into: small businesses, eco-friendly businesses, Australia-made businesses, it's all AMAZING to see. But what about women-owned businesses?

the benefits of supporting women-owned businesses in australia

Strengths of Women Entrepreneurs

Historically, women's participation in self-employment was close to none, but according to recent stats, women not only account for one-third of Australia's small business owners, but contribute more than $430 BILLION to the Australian economy EVERY YEAR.  How bloomin' awesome is that?! Data also shows women entrepreneurs consistently outperform their male counterparts, even with the advantages that come with being a man in business. This is because women business owners usually prioritise a balance of profit and growth with product quality, customer connection and personal enjoyment.

Business World Bias

These strengths are even more of an accomplishment when you realise the innate sexism of the business world women entrepreneurs are still dealing with today. From the gender pay gap that is still evident in our economy, to the general stereotypes and biases people automatically adopt when viewing women in business (that make people think we're less qualified than we actually are), it's unnecessarily tough out here for women entrepreneurs! (And that's not even taking into account the extra inequality other minority groups get. Indigenous, migrant, people with disabilities, older business owners and other groups- my heart truly goes out to you for having the courage to keep proving your place in a society that isn't yet accomodating).  

Take the phrase, "women entrepreneur", for example. Sadly, our society still isn't accustomed to the idea that anyone can be an entrepreneur, making the default image of an entrepreneur be a man because, historically, that is who it was. Now, with women taking up one-third of business owners, you'd think we'd be getting closer to stripping the association of "woman" with our career position, but that is still yet to be the case. Actively supporting women-owned businesses is the start to reaching that goal.


Benefits of Supporting Women-Owned Businesses

Equal claim over terminology isn't the only goal we are reaching when supporting women-owned businesses, nor is it the only beneficial thing for everyone. By supporting women-owned business owners, you are effectively:

Supporting a future based on equality (for all).

No one should be surprised that Australia is not the sole place of inequality for business-owning women. The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women reported that 5 trillion dollars is MISSING from global GDP because of the gender pay gap in entrepreneurship alone. And remember those sexist stereotypes and biases I mentioned before? They are EVERYWHERE in our global society, forcing economic, social, legal and even educational barriers for women wishing to establish their own businesses. This is why supporting women-owned businesses is so important in Australia, because the sooner we dissolve the barriers in our own community, we can move to help dissolve them in other, more extreme places, helping create a better future for everyone, no matter their gender.

Rewriting the default.

I used the example of terminology before, but supporting women-owned businesses helps rewrite the default in every aspect of our lives. In supporting women entrepreneurs, opportunities for education, internships, clients and support for other businesses becomes accessible to everyone, creating a snowball effect that helps everyone grow. The more we show value in women-owned businesses, the more value our whole society will view in them as well. 

Supporting local communities.

Supporting women-owned businesses is not just supporting women, it's supporting whole communities and countless future generations. Where men entrepreneurs have been found to think on a larger scale (by investing back into their businesses to go global), women entrepreneurs are more likely to invest back into their families and communities, building stronger local economies and improving the quality of life for all people around them. This creates a ripple effect throughout wider communities, resulting in a balanced, more sustainable global impact. Who could say no to that?!

Supporting a work-life balance.

In supporting women-owned businesses, you're also supporting their right to flexible hours, financial independence and security and overall life satisfaction. With the shocking statistics of unpaid childcare discrepancies between parents still favouring mothers as the default caregiver, and the fact that 81% of women business owners are mothers, it's especially important to give extra support to women-owned businesses so they have the ability to set hours that best work for their priorities and values, and so they can take off time when needed.

we can do it - women can do anything!

The next time you’re looking for that perfect natural moisturiser, a new accountant, a massage or facial, or a gift for your friend, I encourage you to pause and consider where and who you’re supporting, and ask yourself: is there a business owned by a female entrepreneur who I can purchase this from or work with? (Hint: there most likely is, and you can search for them here!)

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