Earlier this week Jo Burston, had the honour of giving the 2017 Pearcey Oration. She spoke on the challenges women entrepreneurs face at every stage of the entrepreneurial journey. She gave insight to the motivation behind launching Inspiring Rare Birds and the audacious goal of having 1M women entrepreneurs by 2020.
— Pearcey Foundation (@Pearcey_org) August 28, 2017
“If we want more girls to start technology businesses and have careers in this field – and if we want more women to become venture capitalists and invest in more women-led businesses – we need to foster a pipeline from schools.
With this in mind, I went back to my own school, Picnic Point High School and Revesby Heights Public School, where I grew up, in South West Sydney, with a film crew and asked young women what and who they thought an entrepreneur was. I was shocked by the response. Most of them said an entrepreneur was a man who ran a business.
They didn’t know that a woman could be an entrepreneur because they didn’t see women starting and growing businesses – they didn’t have inspiring role models they could look up to and believe #IFSHECANICAN.
This inspired me to start our global movement to help women to grow and scale their businesses. Inspiring Rare Birds is a for-profit business with what I like to call a ‘smart heart’. We’re creating profit so we can be more successful at helping other women, their families, their communities and our economy.
I didn’t want it to be a not-for-profit that relied on the generosity of others. There is a valuable place for charities in our society, but the only way Rare Birds could scale fast enough to reach our mission of one million women entrepreneurs in our community by 2020 – and to help women in Australia access the tools and resources they need to start and grow their enterprises – was by being a for-profit business. A scalable, global for profit company with social and economic impact. This is who our millennials are wanting to work for.”
If you’d like to read Jo’s full Pearcey speech just head this way.