Having more female entrepreneurs could improve Australia’s economic future

19 November 2020

Originally published in Women's Agenda. Written by Dr Jessica Gallagher, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement & Entrepreneurship)

Australia is officially in recession. With the unemployment rate climbing close to 10% by 2020’s end,  we must harness the full potential of our national talent – foster innovation and entrepreneurship to create jobs, and rebuild our economy.

A key factor in achieving this lies in addressing the gender imbalance in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and expanding our number of female founders and leaders. 

The Australian economy (alone) could grow by about $25 billion if we supported more women into the workforce and empowered them to achieve their full economic potential. Minister for Women, Hon Marise Payne, in the 2020 Women’s Economic Security Statement said, “When women’s individual economic security improves, their participation in work and leadership has flow-on benefits for business, industry, and whole economies.”

Barriers to female founders and female leaders are well documented and systemic. The Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship found accelerators and incubators improve the chances of startups receiving funding to scale and increase the chances of survival. However, female founders are not well represented in these accelerators. One of Australia’s best-known accelerators, Startmate, revealed their Melbourne 2017 intake had 15 startups, but only one with a female co-founder.

Read full story on Women's Agenda

Celebrate Women's Entrepreneurship Day (19 November 2020)

Hear more from our incredible female founders at UQ Women's Entrepreneurship Day event, 'Mind the gap: Breaking down gender barriers in entrepreneurship'. This online event is open to the public and free to attend.