It’s International Women’s day and this year’s focal point is Women’s Rights. That got me thinking about the women business owners I know, who are forging ahead and making a better life for themselves and their families.
It was only as recently as 1902 that the Commonwealth Parliament passed the uniform Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902 which gave women who were 21 years and older the Right to vote at elections in the federal Parliament. It was only 50 years before that, in 1848 that women won the Right to own and control the property. We have come a long way since then, thank goodness for that.
Now, in 2020, although men still outnumber women in business ownership, two-thirds of new small businesses created in Australia in the past decade were founded by women. According to Boss Insights 2020, a report produced by Xero, there are currently 2.2 million small business owners in Australia compared to 700,000 in 1991, with women leading the charge in the Healthcare and Education sectors. This should not be surprising, as these are the nurturing and caring industries, areas were women traditionally excel. Women are reading the business landscape and taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by our interconnected and global economy, where our natural skills at networking and cooperation are serving us well.
And the space that women can carve out for themselves in this sector is only going to get bigger. Global health care spending is expected to rise at a compounded annual growth rate of 5% from 2019 to 2023, thus providing many more opportunities in this sector for the enterprising woman.
You never know; if the trend in small business ownership continues, there may be more women small business owners than men within our children’s lifetimes. Certainly, that’s a positive achievement to pass on to the next generation.
Our children watch us and learn what’s possible from what they see us achieving. This hits close to home for me, as a mother and a business owner. My daughter is proud of my success but what inspires her more is my courage to attempt to succeed. To dare to try to create my own place in the world and march to the beat of my own drum. If our girls can see us standing up, not afraid to try, then they will be brave and dare to dream their own dreams too.
After all, it’s their Right.