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Mentoring program encouraging women to export

20 December 2012

Their International businesses are more likely to develop improved marketing techniques and greater skill sets through the adaptation to new technologies and improved performance standards. It is also well documented that businesses that have women in decision making roles perform better on all business indicators.

Despite more than one third of Australian small-to-medium-enterprises (SME’s) being owned by women, female entrepreneurs are falling behind in internationalisation. Women in Global Business (WIGB) in concerned about this trend, and aims to increase female participation in international trade through the WIGB Mentoring program.

Exporting can be a profitable way of expanding a business, spreading the risks and reducing dependence on the local market. Exporting exposes business owners to new ideas, management practices, marketing techniques, and ways of competing that aren’t experienced by staying at home. This considerably improves the ability to compete internationally and in the domestic market as well.

Recent findings from the 2012 WIGB and University of Melbourne research project indicate that the most common age bracket of female International Owner-Operators is 50+ years. Sixty per cent of Australian business women respondents indicated they wish to expand their international operations. 

The survey revealed the most important countries for internationalisation are: China, the USA, New Zealand, India and Singapore. In addition, it indicated that women who are already engaging in international business report a greater risk tolerance than those who had not yet engaged internationally.

The objective of WIGB Mentoring is to make the challenges of internationalisation seem less daunting, by providing a role model, who inspires, acts as a sounding board and who has a wealth of knowledge and experience about the realities of international trade.

The WIGB Mentoring program’s first intake commenced in February 2012 and is now accepting registrations for its third intake for the 2013 Summer program due to commence in February 2013, finishing in November the same year.

Each mentoring relationship is unique and personalised; with Mentees being matched to Mentors based on industry focus, export markets, or lifestyle factors.
According to the WIGB-University of Melbourne study results, non-internationalised female business owners reported personal barriers, including lack of a female role model, to be a more significant barrier than those who engaged internationally.

Respondents with mentors however, reported fewer personal barriers.
WIGB Mentoring applications close on December 31st with the program commencing in February 2013 for a 10 month duration.

To find out more or to register, click here.