The Rare Birds team ask for my thoughts around entrepreneurship globally and where the gaps and opportunities lie for women.
Why are women entrepreneurs important for positive social and economic impact in Australia and globally?
Women are risk takers and survivors, customising their behaviour across generations of obstacles. The survival drive makes them zig when men zag, to start a business during the GFC or a serious downturn. They want to contribute, make a difference, and give it a serious attempt. Women understand behaviour, they are more emotionally in-tune with other people, and that means they are better at selling, persuasive and willing to ask for advice. In the US, women-owned businesses sell 65 percent of all consumer discretionary spending products/services. That’s $US12 trillion p.a.
Women know how to manage a budget, and they’re more likely to spend money on others – supplies for the house, items for the kids, things to make the family home more comfortable and harmonious.
Globally, women’s repayments of lines of credit is higher in all regions of the world compared to men. Their investment is more likely to leave a greater impact and legacy due to the nature of purchase, better schooling, better care for their children, stable family environment.
When comparing one region to another globally, there is normally stark differences in their challenges and treatment by employers, family and society. Some women need permission from their Dad/husband to work, they can’t travel alone or open bank accounts, or are not allowed out of the house at certain times. The landslide shift away from bricks and mortar businesses and into technology has opened up greater opportunity for women with boundaries around their movements and behaviour.
What does Rare Birds mean to you and how do you see the role of Rare Birds in the domestic and global entrepreneur ecosystem?
For me, Rare Birds provides a bridge to overcome obstacles that can hold women back from the same opportunities than men. Women need women networks, locally and globally, to support them and to seek advice from. Women are more emotionally capable than men, they fear failure and judgement more, they think through the risk profile and can be deterred by this.
As a thought leader, entrepreneur and people guru what systemic changes and building blocks do all entrepreneurs need to be successful?
- Better access to finance – it’s currently difficult and confusing.
- Entrepreneurial training – with the age of entrepreneurs getting younger, they need to learn the skills without hands on experience the previous generation would have had.
- Have role models that you aspire to be, can have access to, and understand your challenges.
- There needs to be equal treatment in the workplace, and equal pay for the role not the gender.
- Entrepreneurship needs a global voice of importance. It’s the foundation of all global economies.