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Margaret River hosts businesswomen

THE NEXT Women In Business conference will be the first to address WA businesswomen.

The event will be held in Margaret River from 21 to 23 June.

Margaret River Business Development Centre manager and facilitator Barbara Maidment said attendees were expected from as far north as the Kimberley, east to the Goldfields and south from Esperance and Albany.

“The number of women business operators in WA between February 1995 and February 1997 was around 14,000 – representing a growth rate of 31 per cent during that period compared to the 15.9 per cent increase in male business operators,” Dr Maidment said.

“During the same period,

the national figures show the number of women business operators increased by 9 per cent while the number of male operators increased by 2.6 per cent.

‘Female small business owners tend to be represented in the education, health and community services sectors but are also strongly represented in the retail trade, cultural and recreational services, and transport and storage sectors,” she said.

Dr Maidment said, although their turnover may not be as high, women-owned businesses tended to make a profit earlier than new businesses operated by men.

“A number of reasons contribute to this disparity including the service-orientated nature of businesses operated by women, better preparation by women prior to start-up and the tendency by women to keep debt and overhead costs low,” she said.

“Research also suggests women who are successful often have previous experience in the industry in which they establish their business.”

Dr Maidment said the Women In Business conferences aimed to encourage business ownership among women and promote economic opportunities for women entrepreneurs.

“The Eve-olution conference in Margaret River is expected to attract around 200 existing and potential businesswomen,” she said.

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