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How Australian Women Entrepreneurs are Defying the Odds to Build Successful Businesses

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How Australian Women Entrepreneurs are Defying the Odds to Build Successful Businesses

 

One-third of Australian businesses are led by women, and this number is steadily increasing. Women entrepreneurs in Australia are not only more educated than their male counterparts but are also pioneering innovations in social impact and environmental sustainability. However, significant barriers persist, including gaps in opportunities, networks, resources, and investment.

Key Findings from the Women’s Agenda Report

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A new report from Women’s Agenda, in partnership with Commonwealth Bank and CommBank Women in Focus, sheds light on the challenges and opportunities for women entrepreneurs in Australia. The report, which surveyed over 1,000 women business owners and startup founders in April 2024, highlights the following:

  1. Optimism and Determination: Despite the challenges, 75% of respondents are focused on expansion, and over half plan to hire new talent within the next year.
  2. Social Impact: A significant 56% of women-led businesses are dedicated to making a positive impact in areas such as care, health, social justice, and combating family violence.
  3. Economic Challenges: Inflation and the cost of living are major hurdles, with 74% citing these as primary challenges to growth. Additionally, over a third of respondents feel that current government policies negatively impact their businesses.
  4. Talent Shortages: More than one in five women entrepreneurs are struggling with finding and retaining talent.
  5. Gender-Based Barriers: Bias from prospective investors and unpaid care obligations are additional burdens for women founders.

Expert Insights and Strategies

Julie Mathers, CEO of Snuggle Hunny, sees current economic challenges as opportunities for entrepreneurs to become more focused on their businesses. She believes that surviving the current “storm” will make businesses stronger and more resilient.

Dr. Elaine Stead, a venture capitalist with Main Sequence, emphasizes the importance of networks. She advises women entrepreneurs to leverage their networks for support and survival during tough economic times. She underscores that the first priority for small business owners should be to survive the immediate challenges before focusing on growth.

Opportunities and Support Networks

The report highlights that access to networks is the top driver of success for female founders. Over 80% of respondents identified their biggest support as a network that includes other women entrepreneurs, stakeholders invested in their success, and supportive personal connections. This finding underscores the importance of relationship-building in business.

Conclusion

Despite facing numerous challenges, Australian women entrepreneurs are demonstrating resilience and optimism. Their commitment to innovation and social impact, combined with their determination to overcome barriers, is driving their businesses forward. The findings from the Women’s Agenda report reveal that with the right support, networks, and resources, women-led businesses can thrive even in challenging economic climates.

 

For more business news, click here.

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Lismore’s 76% occupancy rate a sign of positive recovery

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Lismore’s 76% occupancy rate a sign of positive recovery

 

By Samantha Elley

Lismore’s business districts are slowly gaining momentum as they get on with flood recovery.

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The latest shop to open, Trident Fish & Grill, in Keen Street was celebrated last week and was symbolic of the city’s recovery and rebirth of the CBD.

“As a council, we are very focused on economic recovery,” said Mayor Steve Krieg.

“It’s not just about the CBD, it’s about the South Lismore industrial estate and North Lismore and all the areas so badly affected.

“But a really optimistic sign is we are back up to 76 per cent occupancy in the CBD across the block.

“That varies from street to street… and that’s a real positive sign in only two and a half years.”

Cr Krieg said it was also a call out to anyone looking to invest in the Lismore CBD.

“Chris and the Trident group started in Ballina,” he said.

“Then up to Alstonville and now they have expanded their network into the Lismore CBD.

“Any other businesses that are looking at relocating or expanding, Lismore is well and truly open for business.”

The mayor is encouraging any new business to hurry up and set up in Lismore before it’s too late.

“I say to many potential investors, if you don’t have a footprint in Lismore over the next 12-18 months you are going to regret it,” he said.

“Because you won’t get one and the prices are going to skyrocket.

“Talk to Lismore City Council …we are really proactive in everything we are doing to trying to get people back into the CBD and get our industrial estate up to full occupancy.

“We want you here, we will do everything we can to help you get here.”

An audit held by Lismore City Council in the week of June 17, of shopfront and upstairs premises in the CBD, showed the positive growth of businesses, despite the increased cost of living pressures.

“It was always going to be slow increases once we hit 70 per cent occupancy but to reach an impressive 76.8 per cent by June 2024 is great news,” said Cr Krieg.

“And with the Worker’s Club soon to reopen, it really is the time to invest in Lismore.”

Recent SpendMapp data has also signalled growth in the number of people visiting the business centres.

Total spend was up 10 per cent in the CBD in May, compared to the same time last year. This included a 20.9 per cent increase in dining and entertainment, a 9.6 per cent jump in professional services, 1.8 per cent increase in general retail and 2.3 per cent increase in food retail.

Occupancy rates across Lismore CBD

  • Keen Street – 82.4 per cent, up from 81.1 per cent
  • Magellan Street – 81.7 per cent up from 76.3 per cent
  • Conway Street – 77.3 per cent up from 72.1 per cent
  • Carrington Street – 77.3 per cent up from 73.1 per cent
  • Molesworth Street – 77 per cent up from 74 per cent
  • Woodlark Street – 65 per cent up from 60.7 per cent

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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NSW Government Allocates $500,000 to Boost Women-Led Social Enterprises

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NSW Government Allocates $500,000 to Boost Women-Led Social Enterprises

 

The NSW Government has allocated $500,000 to the Social Enterprise Council of NSW and ACT (SECNA) for a two-year initiative to support women-led social enterprises. This effort is part of the Women in Business Networks (WIBN) grant program, launched in 2023 to empower women economically by backing women-led businesses.

Under the WIBN program, $2 million has been earmarked over four years to help women in small businesses build capacity and leverage formal networks. The 2024 WIBN grant focuses on assisting women in starting or expanding social enterprises in NSW.

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SECNA’s Role in Empowering Women

This year’s grant recipient, SECNA, will support 500 women, including those with disabilities and from culturally and racially marginalised communities. The Women in Social Enterprise project aims to connect these women with other social entrepreneurs, fostering robust networks across key sectors and industries. These networks will enable women to share experiences, access resources, and support each other’s success.

Building a Supportive Network

The project will establish a network of champions across NSW, serving as key contacts for women looking to start or build their social enterprises. These champions will host local face-to-face networking events and connect women to necessary resources and support. Participants will also have access to advice through an online community for peer support and virtual webinars. Expert advice and collaboration opportunities will help women overcome challenges and set up their social enterprises for success.

For more information about the WIBN grant program, visit the NSW Women in Business Networks website. Women interested in starting or growing their social enterprises can register for SECNA’s program on the SECNA website.

Government and SECNA Statements

Minister for Women Jodie Harrison emphasised the importance of empowering women in business:

“Our government is committed to empowering women in business to seize opportunities to succeed financially and independently, as well as making it easier for like-minded women to connect and share their knowledge and expertise. The Women in Business Networks grant is designed to support women who are on an exciting path of entrepreneurship and are set to flourish with a little extra support. This grant ensures that women-led businesses can continue to go from strength to strength, not only achieving their own goals but inspiring others to begin their own business journeys.”

 

For more business news, click here.

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Ballina gets ‘beefed’ up with new pie shop in town

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Ballina gets ‘beefed’ up with new pie shop in town

 

By Samantha Elley

If you’ve been wondering about the new store on River Street in Ballina, wonder no further.

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Beefy’s Pies have made their way down from the Sunshine Coast ready to fill the bellies of Northern Rivers locals.

These award winning pies have crossed the border, opening its first NSW store at 166-172 River Street, Ballina.

“We’re excited to receive a warm welcome from the Ballina and Northern Rivers community so far and can’t wait to have everyone in store to taste the Beefy’s difference,” says Jason Lyons, General Manager – Operations at Beefy’s.

“Beefy’s will bring its full range of award-wining pies, sausage rolls, sweets and coffee to the Northern Rivers community, making it a go-to destination for travellers and locals alike.

“Our new Ballina team can’t wait to get to know everyone by name, pie and coffee order. Our opening weekend is the best way to kick this off, but we’ll be teaming up with the local community to support businesses, events and groups in the future with our Pie Drives and fundraising events.”

While the store opened its doors on Friday, 28th June, the official Beefy’s Ballina community launch is Friday 12th to Sunday 14th July with one-weekend only deals and children’s entertainment on offer.

Ballina is Beefy’s 10th store and the first in in New South Wales. It joins locations across South-East Queensland including Gympie, Traveston, Maroochydore, Buderim, Kawana, Aussie World, Glasshouse, Mango Hill and Ningi.

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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