Emerging Technology

Are women more entrepreneurial than men?… Live online video for the masses… Facebook separates work and play… Aussie IT services tops $14 billion… Online banking boom…

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Are women more entrepreneurial than men?

Business success is something men and women achieve in equal measure, but a new study shows they take very different paths in getting there, according to Inc.com.

A new report by the US Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, based on a study of 685 entrepreneurs who started their business in 1998 or 1999, reveals that gender makes does make a difference when it comes to how we do business. It found:

  • Female entrepreneurs are more likely to start businesses in personal services and retail trade, while males tend to get involved in the technology and manufacturing sectors. The reason? Women may be more likely to start businesses that do not have high demands for human or financial capital, often because they lack access to it early, the report speculates.
  • Women-owned businesses tend to be smaller in scale than those started by men.
  • Female entrepreneurs work fewer hours and spend less time developing new ventures, on average, than their male counterparts, because they generally have more domestic demands competing for their time.
  • Women are more likely to start ventures that have a lower risk factor, and consequently focus more on minimising risk during the start-up process than males do.
  • The genders differ in the way they identify and seek out new business opportunities. Women pursue information through their social networks, and therefore have a greater variety of sources than men, while male entrepreneurs tend to identify business opportunities through conversations with investors and bankers, according to the report.

Live online video for the masses

A new website has taken YouTube’s video sharing capacity to the next level.

Mashable reports that the Justin.tv allows users to post live, real time video footage. Users get a personalised, customisable channel page that holds any current live broadcast, has an archive for old “episodes” and allows the export of archived video clips to other site and social networks.

Justin.tv originally tried to control its own content by hosting only a selection of online channels but, as usual with the web, users quickly moved on to more interactive pastures. The move to open up the platform to allow any person with an internet connection and a webcam to post live video will no doubt stimulate a new wave of interest – and raise some pretty big content management issues for the managers of the site. Mediating a forum can be hard enough – user generated live video content is a whole other kettle of fish.

Facebook separates work and play

If concern about mixing your friends and your work colleagues, or your work and your social personas, have put you off social network Facebook, then you may want to think again. Facebook is expected to introduce a new feature that will separate work and social friends. Some observers report the move is a challenge to the work-based social network LinkedIn, reports CNNmoney.com/Fortune. But surely, the separation could lead to some awkward moments. Are you a “work friend” or a “real friend”?

Aussie IT services tops $14 billion

End-user spending in the Australian IT services market is expected to exceed $14 billion 2007, up 3.6% from 2006, according to a new Gartner study reported by iTNews.

According to Gartner, the resources boom and generally robust business conditions have helped maintain healthy demand for IT services this year.

Garter predicts the IT services market in Australia will grow at 3.7% over the next five years, with business process outsourcing and software support the key growth areas.

But Australia’s overall share of the Asia-Pacific IT services market is set to shrink from its current 30% to less than 25% over that period, due to the growth of highly competitive IT sectors in India and China.

The key impediment for Australia’s IT services sector? The skills shortage.

“In Australia’s mature, comparatively high-labour-cost market, IT skill shortages are creating difficulties,” Michele Caminos, research chair of Gartner Symposium 2007 told iTNews. “Not only is it hard to find enough people with the right skills to staff major projects, it is putting pressure on service provider margins, as labour costs continue to rise.”

Online banking boom

Online deposit balances surged by 27% from $6.9 billion in the June quarter last year to $8.8 billion, according to data from research firm MISC Australia. The number of accounts, including super accounts grew by 6% to 25.7 million.

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