"With more and more women starting up businesses, I urge as many women as possible to put aside the time to take part in this survey." Larissa Nicholson

Wanted: the voice of women

THE more than 700,000 women who run their own small businesses in Australia are being asked to have their say in the nation's first national research project especially designed for them.

The Australian Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI) has launched The Women in Business Poll online.

"It will provide a better understanding of the challenges, rewards and opportunities for women running a business in both regional and metro Australia," AWCCI CEO Yolanda Vega said.

"It will explore such issues as how and why women start businesses, in what industries, where the businesses operate, revenue and wages, procurement of contracts, superannuation, childcare issues and more.

"We know the significant contribution women make to the economy and to their local communities, often with little support or recognition."

Ita Buttrose, AWCCI advisory board member, said: "What we do know is that international reports from the World Bank and the OECD say that women are a 'failsafe investment' and that they have a higher 'return on investment' than their male counterparts. We also know that women are the biggest consumers in the world and in Australia represent 70% of buying power.

"With more and more women starting up businesses, I urge as many women as possible to put aside the time to take part in this survey."

Take the survey at www.research.net/awcci



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