Women entrepreneurs around the world are making a difference. They contribute numerous ideas and a great deal of energy and capital resources to their communities and most generate jobs as well as create additional work for suppliers and other spin-off business linkages. Within the context of commonwealth, women’s role is particularly significant. The commonwealth is responsible for 40 percent of the membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and over 20 percent of all world trade, and exports amount to over 2 trillion US dollars. Women owned business have increased in all regions of the commonwealth especially in the service sector.
More and more women are entering in the into the business across borders, trading regionally and internationally. In commonwealth countries such as Australia and Canada, women are responsible for as many as 50percent of new business start-ups each year ( Leve, 2001) and the rate at which women are joining the private sector generate more employment that top 1000 companies in the country. Statistics in developing countries is not easy to come by; though it’s clear that women entrepreneurs have also been active across all sectors of the economy.
In South- East Asia, women constitute about 9 and 48 percent of employers and between 20 and 48 percent of the self-employed. This type of business which commonwealth businessmen have established range from small-scale street vendors to large-scale high-tech aerospace equipment installation services. Although there are growing numbers of large women owned companies, the majority of womens entrepreneur are concentrated at either the micro-enterprise or small and medium sized enterprise (SMEs) level.
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SMEs are the engine growth of a nation as economic and industrial future It is important for governments and international policy-makers to recognize that SMEs make a significant contribution to their countries economies and that supporting women’s business is sound business sense and promotes economic development. It can also help meet development goals such as reducing poverty, improving the health of families and communities, raising literacy and educational levels and women empowerment
Numerous studies indicate that women often use a different approach to business than me do. They still have to deal with all of the same issues as other business such as cash flow, access to credit, marketing, strategic planning, staff recruitment and maintenance. However, they tend to add an organization value in terms of doing business from an early stage- and that in human element. A large number of women- owned business integrate strong ethical principles into their management practices.
Their business aim to make a profit but also seek ways to do so while engaged in fair trading and employment practices. They give back to their communities and their employees and have found unique ways to serve as mentors for other women entrepreneurs. This is the case whether the business start at the micro- enterprise level or are multi-million dollar enterprises. This is to imply that business owned by men do not practice business ethics or are not concerned about their employs. Rather it is a matter of the stage of their business development they do this at and the scale.
What is significant about women entrepreneurs is that they tend to seek out this type of balance within their business at an earlier stage of growth and development. Women are faster to implement benefits for their employees, to develop profits sharing schemes and to introduce working conditions and structures that are family- friendly. Some of other common threads in the way women do business that have been shown by research (Muir, 1997. Muir. Angore and Atkinson, 2001) Have a strong commitment to their local community, particularly in terms of sourcing and employment.