Young Women and Entrepreneurship
Research Report

A national research report exploring the state of young Australian women’s (18-24) views on entrepreneurship

Gender inequality in entrepreneurship and STEM represents a significant missed opportunity for Australia’s economy. Women are severely underrepresented as entrepreneurs with just one female entrepreneur for every 1.8 males.There is a larger gap between male and female entrepreneurs in Australia than other OECD countries.

Today, Australia’s small and medium businesses employ around 7.6 million people and contribute $705b of industry value added, making SMEs and entrepreneurs that run them a crucial engine of growth.

Achieving equality in entrepreneurship requires women to have key entrepreneurial and STEM skills. Research suggests that the foundations of gender inequality in entrepreneurship can be traced back to the school years and early adulthood. A gap begins to open up in the confidence, interest and aspiration of female students in relation to STEM from primary school and widens at the tertiary level and in the workforce.

This report aims to understand the barriers contributing to future female entrepreneurs and identify the levers needed to close the gender gap and increase the number of women-run businesses in Australia.

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