A Global Research Perspective
New Horizons in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Candida G. Brush, Nancy M. Carter, Elizabeth J. Gatewood, Patricia G. Greene and Myra M. Hart
Chapter 2: Women’s Entrepreneurship in Australia: Present and Their Future
Mary Barrett INTRODUCTION This chapter provides an overview of the statistics on women’s representation in the Australian workforce and as business owners, and of the indicators of their current and likely future status as entrepreneurs. It explores the Australian research on what these statistics show about how women and their businesses differ from their male counterparts, especially in terms of business size, motivation for entrepreneurship, access to start-up and growth finance, training and assistance, strategic choices about industry location of womenowned businesses, issues for special groups of entrepreneurs including indigenous people and people of non-English-speaking background, and other issues. The chapter hazards some answers to the many questions that this research provokes about the nature and future of women’s entrepreneurship through a brief examination of some historical and cultural factors in Australia, and suggests some directions for future research to close the gaps in our knowledge of the nature, needs and future of Australian women entrepreneurs. A. COUNTRY LABOR FORCE OVERVIEW In December 2003, the estimated resident population of Australia was 19997800, of which 80 percent were aged 15 years or more (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2003a). Figure 2.1 below indicates the proportions of the population by sex and by age groups, showing the changes from 1983 to 2003. From this figure, one can estimate that the percentage of women and men 15 years or more is 90.15 and 89.7 respectively. Number of Women and Men in the Workforce Figure 2.2 shows the distribution of full-time and total employment for...
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