Women small business owners must be supported to thrive

As the Albanian government settles in, it must consider boosting women-owned small businesses as a line of defense against the onslaught of economic challenges Australia is currently facing.

With rising inflation, debt, cost of living and unaffordable house prices, new treasurer Jim Chalmers has his work cut out for him. Even more by ensuring that women who run small businesses are supported to continue to grow.

In the private sector, the size and scale of corporate procurement globally is enabling more small women-owned businesses to buy, which is an important target for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The UN’s Sourcing Practices Report notes that companies that bypass women-owned businesses are missing opportunities to expand their global markets, diversify their supply chains and add more cash to business. ‘economy. Despite the myriad of benefits, only 1% of the trillions spent on goods and services worldwide come from women-owned businesses.

In Australia, the employment rate for women has never been higher and women small business owners currently make up more than a third of all small businesses. They also create more businesses than men.

It’s clear that women are powerful drivers of Australia’s economic recovery, providing a significant share of the $418 billion that small businesses add to GDP.

It is also clear that women small business owners have the ability to contribute even more.

So how can the Albanian government help?

Women business owners manage to juggle hostile operating conditions, children, mortgages, and cost of living pressures, while owning and running their own businesses. They’re not looking for handouts – all they want is a fairer level playing field. Small businesses don’t want public relations stunts, but rather a place at the decision-making and bidding table.

The government could help by giving women’s small businesses the opportunity to work hard and succeed on their own terms by increasing access to major tenders and contracts and by incentivizing companies that outsource to small businesses entirely owned by women.

It took me years to learn the secret to pursuing government tenders, but it shouldn’t take that long or be that difficult to access these opportunities. Women small business owners deserve as much support as big business, but unlike big business, they don’t have the time or the deep pockets to play the bureaucratic minefield of tenders.

Women also have the disadvantage of not being in the room where investment decisions are made. It’s second nature for men to support themselves financially with an idea, but they question a woman’s idea like she doesn’t know what she’s doing.

A United Nations guide on how to source from women-owned businesses indicates that a common barrier to women’s ability to access tenders and contracts is their lack of relationships with entities that may to generate business. In addition to this lack of access to business networks, women are further constrained by limited business and management experience compared to their male counterparts. Finally, they tend to have less confidence than men in their ability to manage their business.

The government needs to show more commitment to equal opportunity for women small business owners by devoting more resources to streamlining the bidding process. That means less red tape and more campaigns to get women to throw their hats in the ring. With the right training and resources, such as a women-only website for local, state, federal, and commercial bidding, women small business owners can enjoy greater parity with their biggest competitors. .

Additionally, if a business entity wants to secure a major government contract, it must adhere to a clause that states that a healthy percentage of work must be given to a small, woman-owned business (as is the case for SMEs and local businesses). Incorporating similar criteria into major tenders would be a sensible starting point for the government to increase women’s participation. Proactive measures to “mainstream” women’s participation in small businesses from start to finish in the bidding process could involve:

  • Outreach opportunities through platforms that women frequent, such as women’s networks, small business groups on social media, and community groups.
  • Establish a list of suppliers of women business owners or tap into existing databases of suppliers.
  • Designate a procurement officer to meet diversity standards.

The federal government was arguably swept away by legions of women who made their voices heard.

It can go further by supporting women-owned small businesses to help them reach their full potential. As an untapped resource of the future, women small business owners are essential to the country’s prosperity.

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