Recommendation: Changes to the Federal Government Entrepreneurs Program to impact women’s economic security
Women owned and run businesses are a large and growing segment of the Australian business sector. Targeted policies directed at those businesses can enhance the economic security of women. A company with a female founder and a female executive will hire 6x more women.
The government’s Entrepreneurs’ Program has had a positive effect on women’s businesses. Adjustments to the access criteria would enable more businesses to gain expert support. In particular:
- Reduce the turnover threshold to participate for women owned businesses to the same level as rural and Northern Australia – $750,000.
- Women owned businesses (at least 50% female owned) to be recognised as a Growth Sector of the economy and therefore eligible for the program.
The recommendations directly support the Federal Government’s Strategy – Towards 2025: An Australian Government’s Strategy to Boost Women’s Workforce Participation.
The report concluded: “Successive Intergenerational Reports have highlighted the importance of higher women’s workforce participation to improving Australia’s productivity and prosperity, and to reduce the fiscal pressures associated with providing welfare support to an ageing population.”
“Some research shows the economic independence that employment provides can also assist women’s decisions to leave violent relationships. It can bring financial security, confidence and, therefore, safety.”
The Entrepreneurs’ Program already has funding, a national network of contracts and facilitators and an evidence base of growing Australian businesses successfully. All that is needed is to change the eligibility criteria below, update the internal systems, and communicate the eligibility change to the national network of facilitators.
eS4W partner Femeconomy, will continue to identify relevant businesses that meet the eligibility criteria and refer them into the program.
A low cost and important reform using an existing policy framework, that would help support businesses owned and run by women. In addition to supporting the economic security of women, it would be a key small business initiative that would boost productivity and growth in the economy.
This article was first published by economic Security4Women
economic Security4Women (eS4W) is a national women’s alliance, funded by the Australian Government through the Office for Women in the Commonwealth Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
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