More Australian women now run their own businesses
Thursday, March 29, 2018/
If you’ve suspected there’s a growing cohort of women owning their own businesses in Australia, the latest 2016 Census data proves your instincts are right.
But the uptick recorded is not huge, with women now accounting for 33% of owner-managers in Australia, compared to 31% in 2006.
I’m certainly not surprised by the increase, I thought it’d be larger. Especially given the apparent growing level of interest in female-led entrepreneurial and small business events and courses in Australia, the increased prominence of entrepreneurial women in the media, as well as research on Women’s Agenda regarding ambitions for starting businesses.
Still, the growth in female owner-operators is happening at a faster rate than men, with the number of female owner managers up 7.6% over the last decade (now at 504,838), compared to a rise of just 0.3% for men.
Across the country, 14% of employed people identified as owner-managers of businesses, slightly down from 16% in 2006. The majority (57%) do not employ other people, and just 4.2% of owner-managers employ 20 people or more.
Plenty of female business owners are dealing with ‘the juggle’, with 33% in couple families with children under 15 years of age, and another 3.9% juggling both work and family roles in sole parent households.
Meanwhile, (and again I was surprised) the proportion of people aged 18 to 24 operating as owner-managers has declined slightly, down from 2.5% in 2006 to 2.3% in 2016.
But the number of owner-managers aged over 65 is at 9.8%, accounting for 5.9% of all owner-managers.
So what age is the most common for business owner-managers in Australia? For women, the median age is 47, slightly younger than the median age of 48 for men.
And what are business owner-managers earning? The ABS reported their total weekly personal income is estimated to be $1,028, compared with $1,023 for all employees. But business owners are working more hours to get there, recording a median of 40-hour weeks, compared with 38 hours for employees.
Getting employees into your business doesn’t necessarily minimise the hours you’re working, or lead to better work-life balance. The ABS reported a median of 35 hours worked per week for those with no employees, compared to 40 hours for those with 1 to 19 employees, and a massive 48 hours for those with 20 employees or more. Fourteen percent of owner-managers are working 50 to 59 hours a week, compared with just 7.5% for employees.
The difference for owner-managers could be that they have more say over when and where they work, compared to employees.
This article was first published by Women’s Agenda.
Be honest about your situation: How vulnerability helps businesses thrive Sue Parker DARE Group founder
Own it: The 10 things you need to do to manage your personal brand Lisa Stephenson Who Am I Projects founder
Six invaluable lessons: What 20 years in aged care taught me about being an entrepreneur Natasha Chadwick NewDirection Care founder
An entrepreneurial superpower: Eight tips to help develop resilience Adala Bolto ZADI Training co-founder
Going through a lull? Five areas you should invest in when sales drop Tamara Alaveras and Sonia Majkic 3 Phase Marketing co-founders
Stop telling us how busy you are, it's boring and charmless Ian Whitworth Scene Change co-founder
Blandification™ and the state of modern branding Jeffrey Oley The Offices co-founder
Why you should find the right role for the right person — not the other way around Bruce Stronge Outfit founder