Online retailer Bits of Australia is calling for the achievements of Australian women in small business to be recognised and supported, as the number of women starting businesses continues to grow and they become significant contributors to the local economy.
March 8 is International Women’s Day, which is an annual event to recognise and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world, while also increasing awareness and calling for action and progress towards gender equality.
Bits of Australia was launched in April 2014 and is a leading online supplier of boutique Australian made gifts and souvenirs. In support of women in small business, the company aims to partner with and support women business owners in the Australian gift and souvenir industry.
Bits of Australia founder and director Micaela Smith said that about 70 per cent of her suppliers and designers were successful and inspiring women working independently or operating a small business. However, she believes more acknowledgement and support was needed to enable them to innovate and grow their business.
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Small business plays an important role in the economy, employing around 4.5 million people and driving innovation in Australia. According to a recent ABS report, the number of women business operators in Australia has increased by 46 per cent in the last decade (compared to just 27 per cent for male business owners) and they now make up over a third (34 per cent) of all business operators.
“As a female owned and operated business, we experience the benefits and rewards, as well as the challenges and barriers first-hand,” said Smith. “We also get to hear from our many suppliers and they tell us work-life-balance and self-confidence, access to finance, business knowledge and resources are some of their biggest issues.
“While our core business at Bits of Australia is about championing Australian-made products and businesses, we also want to help increase awareness and influence change for the many other issues affecting us and our suppliers.”