Exceptional Magazine : 2014 Exceptional Magazine
26 Exceptional Australia 2014 Entrepreneurial Women program In 2013 Australia was ranked as the second-best place in the world to be a female entrepreneur, preceded only by the United States1. Around a third of all Australian owner- operator businesses2 are started by women and there are increasing ways women can access support as they grow their businesses. An impressive group of female entrepreneurs gathered at EY's 2013 Entrepreneurial Women's Workshop in Sydney to discuss some of the challenges facing female business owners. For our speakers Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art; Anne-Marie Birkill, Partner at OneVentures; Laura McKenzie, Chief Executive Offcer, Scale Investors; and Katie Mihell, Head of Women in Focus, Community and Entrepreneur Business Finance at Commonwealth Bank – access to funding was at the top of the agenda. EY's recent G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer found a general perception among Australian entrepreneurs that access to funding had deteriorated over the last three years. Of the Australian entrepreneurs surveyed, 34% reported deterioration in venture capital funding, 53% reported deterioration in access to bank loans and 37% said access to government funding had decreased. During our Entrepreneurial Women's Workshop, participants noted that access to funding can often be an even bigger challenge for female entrepreneurs. Annette Kimmitt is the Asia-Pacifc Accounts Leader at EY and a co-founder of Scale Investors, a female-focused angel investor network. Being involved in Entrepreneur Of The Year made her acutely aware of the challenges female entrepreneurs can face when raising capital. "We started Scale because we were convinced that a critical part of the solution was to increase the pipeline of investors, particularly female investors," Kimmitt says. She believes women can be hugely successful as investors and entrepreneurs, saying "we are risk-averse, but that isn’t because we're afraid; it just means we do a lot of research before we make a decision." Some of the suggestions emerging from the workshop about how to improve the chances of gaining funding were: • be confdent when presenting to potential investors • be clear about what you need from them • know your fnancials and business case inside out • practise and perfect your elevator pitch • be persistent and don't see knockbacks as failures. Kimmitt says it's also important that women have the opportunity to share their experiences with their peers. "There's a lot we can learn from female role models who have been on the entrepreneurial journey and emerged successfully on the other side. "Fortunately there is a growing eco system of support networks available for female entrepreneurs to tap into in Australia," Kimmitt says, citing Springboard, Business Chicks and EY's own Entrepreneurial Women program as examples. Nominate a female entrepreneur today We've had some amazing female entrepreneurs come through our Australian Entrepreneur Of The Year program over the past 12 years. EY is committed to increasing female participation even further, to celebrate success stories and inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs. EY's Entrepreneurial Women program is just one of the benefts female entrepreneurs can expect as part of the experience. If you know a successful female entrepreneur who deserves to be recognised, nominate them for the 2014 Entrepreneur Of The Year awards today, at www.eoy.ey.com.au. women Wonder 1 Dell Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (Gender GEDI) 2 ABS, Census of Population and Housing, 2011.
2015 Exceptional Magazine
2013 Exceptional Magazine