A contemporary profile of Australian women small business owners

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Edith Cowan University, WA


Faculty of Business and Public Management


School of Management




This article was originally published as: Walker, E. A. (2001). A contemporary profile of Australian women small business owners. Proceedings of Looking at our Future: Listening to our Past. Fremantle, WA. Edith Cowan University, WA. Original article available here


Academic research into women and small business was at its zenith in the 1980s and the early part of the nineties. Since then there has been little empirical research been conducted in Australia into women as owners of small businesses. This lack of research belies the fact that in Australia, 35% of all small business owners are reportedly female. Additionally, the Australian Bureau of Statistics states that approximately twice as many women start businesses compared to men. This paper focuses on the question of what type of women are currently owners of small businesses. It will compare an historical profile of the woman small business owner with recent data collected in a Western Australian study. It will further triangulate this profile by adding the profile of men from the study. Demographic factors, reasons for starting the business in the first instance and future business intentions will also be examined.

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