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Robyn Eversole, Naomi Birdthistle, Megerssa Walo and Vinita Godinho

Women entrepreneurs are one of the fastest growing entrepreneurial populations, contributing to the world economy through a significant share of employment generation and economic growth. Yet Australian women have significantly lower entrepreneurial participation rates and growth ambitions than men. This chapter uses the lens of the entrepreneurial ecosystem to understand and map the supports available for enterprising women in two Australian regions: rural North West Tasmania and urban Melbourne. The authors find gaps in the current ecosystems supporting women entrepreneurs, regarding the extent to which supports are available, accessible, and/or appropriate for women. In each context, these gaps compromise the ability of women entrepreneurs to realize their full potential to develop high-growth businesses. These findings contribute to the emerging literature on women’s entrepreneurship by providing a grounded understanding of the components of support ecosystems and how they vary across local contexts. The chapter recommends adopting a place-based, gender-sensitive approach to business supports to address gaps such as access to finance for women entrepreneurs.