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More women now operating small businesses in Australia

Business woman Source: AAP

Federal government statistics suggest that over 600-thousand women are now operating small businesses in Australia.

Federal government statistics suggest more women than ever are now operating small businesses in Australia.

New figures show over 600-thousand are choosing to be their own bosses.

The federal government says the number of women business owners increased 5.6 per cent in the 12 months to November. While, in the same period, the increase for male business owners was less than 5 per cent.

Overall, more than 96 per cent of female business operators work in small businesses.

Australian Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Yolanda Vega says there are several reasons - "Reasons include women are trying to get away from the corporate environment, a lot of them can't afford child care -- especially if they have two women or more, as their wages aren't enough to cover child-care costs -- and, also, a lot of women are needing work-life balances."

But despite that, Ms Vega says the success rate is below the rate for men.

Vega further says there are many barriers that limit the success of women in small business - "Capital is the major concern, because the majority of women can't access capital for their small-business start-ups. The fact that they're not included in the supply chains is another major factor. So when women start up a small business and can't obtain contracts, their cash flow is going to be minimal. Therefore, that's why we're seeing a large number of women unable to pay themselves a wage and unable to contribute to their superannuation."