Cassy Small with her children Jamie, 2, and Jessica, 1, runs her own marketing business from home.
Cassy Small with her children Jamie, 2, and Jessica, 1, runs her own marketing business from home. john mccutcheon

Mumpreneurs at helm

DON'T underestimate women in business.

After all, women now own more than half of the 1.9 million small businesses operating in Australia.

A large percentage of these businesses are made up of a new breed of Aussie women, who, as well as being stay-at-home mums have started a business.

Home-based businesses are now the nation's fastest growing small business sector, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

It's a trend said to be driven by women's increasing desire to go at it alone.

This charge of new-age women, now being called "mumpreneurs", will be one of the themes celebrated during this year's International Women's Day.

The day, held annually on March 8, aims to celebrate the massive contribution by businesswomen around the world.

Among those rejoicing the day will be Sunshine Coast businesswoman Cassy Small, who last year gave birth to Jessica.

In the 12-months since, Mrs Small has made a significant contribution to the national statistics, starting her own successful marketing business, as well as being a stay-at-home mother of two.

She represents the large percentage of Australian women - twice as many as men - starting up a business last year.

"THE best part of owning my own business is that all the effort and hard work is for me instead of 'working for the man'," Mrs Small said.

"We've got complete control over all aspects."

International Women's Day was first celebrated in 1911 having been proposed a year earlier at the International Conference of Socialist Women in Copenhagen.

Every year since, organisations and individuals across the world have recognised the achievements of women and their contribution to society.

One of the biggest movements was the push for women to be more involved in the workforce, climbing the corporate ladder and earning equal pay.

Now society has changed again.

A recent study by Kimberly-Clark suggests that seven out of 10 Australian women think about starting a business after becoming a mother.

Mrs Small said she was very proud to be one of the many women nationwide who made up the statistics after investing in her marketing and events business, Big Fish Planning, in October last year.

The mumpreneur said the best part of owning her own business was that all the effort and hard work was for her and her family's benefit.

"Being a stay-at-home mum offers the best of both worlds," she said.

"I've got 24 hours of the day to fit in everything I need.

"So I can take the kids to the beach on a nice day or take a nap with them at lunch time and know I have the evening or early morning to myself to work."

The publicity and branding business services everything from book launches, motivational speaking, charities and a sporting team.

"Our goal is to make our client the biggest fish in their pond, whatever area that may be," she said.

"We also have clients in Sydney and recently Melbourne.

"This expansion is very exciting and is a testament to the ease of working online."

FACTS ABOUT WOMEN

Women own almost half of all home-based businesses and one-third of businesses operating from other locations.

Women setting up business from home are the fastest growing sector of the Australian economy.

46% of women run their businesses from home - a 20% increase in the past five years.

Women make or influence 80% of all purchasing decisions.

Women own 585,000 of the 1.9 million small businesses operating in Australia.

94% of all Australian businesses have an annual turnover of less than $2 million dollars.

Businesses owned by women have less external debt, are more profitable and profitable much earlier than those owned by men.


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