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?
Entrepreneurs are one of the building blocks of any healthy economy. They build businesses. They create jobs. They solve problems. They inspire others. Entrepreneurs tend to have different ways of looking at issues. They bring a different perspective which can help us think about business or societal issues differently.
What does Rare Birds mean to you and how do you see the role of Rare Birds in the domestic and global entrepreneur ecosystem?
I’m inspired to be part of the Rare Birds movement because of the passion and belief of its founder, Jo Burston. The vision to give women the opportunity to become an entrepreneur by choice is a magnificent one. I see Rare Birds as a vehicle to encourage, identify and help grow entrepreneurs in the early stages of their journey. I believe its greatest strength will lie in harnessing the collective passion and talent of its luminaries and creating many generations of entrepreneurs who will help inspire and grow others. I would hope the early Rare Birds of today will be the luminaries of tomorrow.
As a thought leader, entrepreneur and people guru what systemic changes and building blocks do all entrepreneurs need to be successful?
Creating an environment where people are open to the idea that entrepreneurialism is a possible path is one of the biggest changes we can make. If we can help young people see that becoming an entrepreneur is a valid option, then we’ve probably removed one of the biggest challenges.
What is Australia doing really well and where are they missing the mark with entrepreneurs in general? what countries do you think are leading the way and why?
My sense of it is that we have quite a thriving entrepreneurial culture; and the success of many entrepreneurs has inspired others. The proliferation of hubs, networks and events aimed at entrepreneurs seems to have grown significantly over the past five years or so – suggesting the underlying system is quite healthy.
Of course, funding and investment is a perennial issue – but we are quite fortunate in the amount of support and training available for small businesses in this country.
How should we celebrate entrepreneurs? What are we doing well and what can we change?
We should celebrate entrepreneurs not just for their individual achievements; but what they have achieved more broadly. So often we focus on the success of an individual entrepreneur; we absolutely should do that, but also recognise the contribution they make to our economy and society. Entrepreneurs create opportunities for others; they provide jobs and they often give strongly back to their community. Entrepreneurs are often willing mentors and feel a real sense of responsibility to help others realise their ambitions.