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Small business a great pathway for young women to become future entrepreneurs

COSBOA continues to invest in young female businesswomen with the launch of a series of entrepreneurial workshops scheduled to tour more than one hundred schools around the country this year.

This week around fifty students from Adelaide’s Heathfield High School will take part in a program by the Academy of Enterprising Girls ( which aims to increase the number of female business leaders in Australia.

The workshop, led by not-for-profit Young Change Agents, will encourage the girls aged 13 to 17 to identify a problem in their local community. Over the next two-and-a-half days, the students will then use problem-solving and design thinking to devise a business plan and solution for their chosen issue.

The push to attract more women into business, and in particular small business, is part of COSBOA’s agenda.

Peter Strong, COSBOA CEO, said it was vital that Australia did more to promote the success of women in business.

“COSBOA knows that today’s girls are the business leaders of tomorrow and this initiative will equip students with the confidence and skills needed to own and operate their own business now or in the future,” said Mr Strong.

“Every day I see amazing women out there succeeding in small business, and doing something they absolutely love, but when it comes to running a business, men continue to outnumber women,” he said.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics just over a third of all businesses are run by women, with 12 per cent of the country’s 5.9 million employed females now their own boss[1].

The Academy for Enterprising Girls wants to help young Australian women develop the mindset and passion for entrepreneurial and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, preparing them for the jobs of the future and careers not yet invented.

It is estimated that 75 percent of the fastest growing occupations, including those in the creative industries and humanities, will require STEM related skills and knowledge.

The program has been funded by the Australian Government, through the Office for Women, under the Future Female Entrepreneurs Program. Significant corporate support has also been provided by major high profile tech companies.

“We hope that through initiatives like the Academy for Enterprising Girls that we can support more young women to gain the relevant knowledge and confidence to get out there and start their own businesses,” said Mr Strong.

The Academy for Enterprising Girls is a one-stop-shop for young women aged 10 to 18 years old to help develop their enterprise skills with advice from some of Australia’s most successful business women, with the aim of helping more young women succeed in business.

The Academy for Enterprising Girls involves two elements. The first is a digital platform offering engaging videos and content for girls to show them how to become an entrepreneur, featuring some of Australia’s most successful business women.

The second is a self-paced e-learning module and national workshop program for girls to develop their entrepreneurial skills with a focus on STEM. Girls will learn about design thinking, business development, entrepreneurialism and coding.



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