Women making a mark on global business
3 June 2013 at 10:39 am
A new generation of Australian female entrepreneurs are making their mark on the global stage, according to research by the University of Melbourne and Women in Global Business (WIGB).
The report: Australia’s Underestimated Resource: Women Doing Business Globally focused on Australian women active in global markets, both as employees responsible for the international operations of large companies, and as independent owner-operators.
Women In Global Business, a joint Federal, State and Territory Government initiative, commissioned the five-year study to shed light on women’s growing contribution to Australia’s economy through international trade.
It found a large, active group of women-owned businesses operating across a wide range of foreign markets. These were predominantly young, small-to-medium enterprises that internationalised in the past six years, the report found.
Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins said the research would help the Government target support for female exporters through organisations such as Austrade and Women in Global Business.
“It is important that we acknowledge and support the growing number of successful women-owned businesses operating in markets across the globe,” she said.
Parliamentary Secretary for Trade Kelvin Thomson said female-owned businesses were the fastest growing segment within small and medium enterprises.
“It is crucial that we better understand their motivations, and what helps them succeed as exporters,” he said.
The report found:
- More than a quarter (29%) of the women-owned organisations earn more than 50 per cent of their sales revenue internationally.
- Baby-boomers made up the largest demographic (54% were 50 years old or older).
- The report stated the women were “very well educated” (more than 70% held a bachelor degree or higher). Almost half (44 per cent) spoke a foreign language, the report found.
- The countries most frequently identified as the ‘most important market’ were the US (26%), China (18%), the UK (9%) and New Zealand (7%).
- Thirteen per cent of those businesses where the first international venture occurred in the past five years chose China.
- Almost all those surveyed intended to continue expanding their global reach, suggesting positive flow-on effects for Australian exports and jobs.
To view the full report visit http://www.wigb.gov.au/