New research commissioned by Westpac shows the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking in women who live in regional Australia.
Women in regional areas are prepared to take the plunge and start a business at a younger age than their city counterparts, according to research released today by Westpac. Regional businesswomen are much more likely to have worked in a different industry before starting at their current business and this suggests they are prepared to take risks, give new things a try and have a higher level of flexibility. According to Australian Women in Business – New Insights, commissioned by Westpac and conducted by research agency TNS, women overall are extremely effective and working in small business really suits them.
Westpac’s Head of Women’s Markets, Larke Riemer, said women were better prepared in business than their male counterparts and better equipped to manage a crisis or emergency. “Generally, women in small business plan more effectively and focus on the long term, as well as short term planning. This suggests women have higher levels of concern about the unknown than their male counterparts.”
“Women are better prepared for emergencies and have some form of financial ‘back-up plan’. They manage their cash flow more closely and they don’t need to use their back up plan as often as men. Men believe that if they have a good business, cash flow will take care of itself.”
“In regional Australia, almost two-thirds of women started a business tended to be under 35, compared to 44 per cent of city based businesswomen. The majority of women in small business would not consider returning to a large corporation. Only one in three small businesswomen would be interested in returning to a larger corporation, with 42 per cent of men open to returning to a bigger company,” she said.
This is Westpac’s second survey and confirms that cash flow is still a major issue for small businesses generally. “This year staffing has emerged as a key issue for small businesses and managing the work/life balance is perceived as a challenge by a higher proportion of women.”
While regional businesses also had fewer employees on average than their city counterparts, regional women owners were more likely to offer flexible hours or working from home as a retention strategy. Ten per cent more women in regional Australia (45 per cent) felt that red tape and legislation were more of a barrier to growth than their city counterparts.