The Coalition believes the new budget will boost the confidence of the Australian business community, but with women entrepreneurs being the most affected by the pandemic – what does this mean for them?
The 2020-21 budget has been announced amidst COVID-19 recovery and efforts have been made to stimulate the economy; to rebuild businesses, get youth into the workforce, and provide support to families.
The budget has a youth focus and continues to benefit men, who are the majority of high-income earners. This leaves women aged 45 and older the least represented in this year’s budget. With men receiving 60% of the tax change benefits, it raises the question, how can women overcome and make the most from the budget’s affordances?
There are several avenues and programs that the Government has tried to support women. As part of the budget, the government included the Women’s Economic Security Statement, which aims to increase female workplace participation and increase their economic independence.
Some projects include the $50 million plan called Women@Work, which will expand on the existing Women’s Leadership and Development Program. Out of this, $47.5 million will be put towards nurturing projects that help women retain employment and build career pathways. This will also encourage women employment in previously male-dominated fields, for example, the Master Builders Australia which aims to expand women in the construction industry.
An important aspect of creating female entrepreneurs is education, and the Academy for Enterprising Girls is a program aimed at teaching girls ages 10-18 about entrepreneurship, design thinking, and business skills. In this budget, $5 million has been pledged and there is a focus on expanding the program to rural towns.
Women in STEM will also be supported with $14.5 million to extend programs, including Women in STEM Entrepreneurship (WISE) and the Girls in STEM Toolkit. Another $25.1 million have been promised to support STEM cadetships and apprenticeships.
Finally, the Boosting Female Founders Initiative which launched earlier this year, will fund 282 new female-led start-ups and supporting 4,300 women entrepreneurs to the tune of $35.9 million.
While this budget has favored men over women, there are opportunities for women entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs to get educated and expand their business.
Does your future career align with this budget? Do any of these new initiatives interest you? Do you think the government has provided enough funding for women? Let us know by leaving a comment below.