Female-led businesses


8th March, 2021

Female entrepreneurs: Smashing tech boundaries this IWD

MYOB celebrates female entrepreneurs at the forefront of the next digital business revolution as part of International Women’s Day 2021.

Women are increasingly making their mark on the start-up world, building businesses celebrated for their ability to shake-up industry stalwarts and make a healthy profit along the way.

Look at some of the incredible female entrepreneurs in Australia and New Zealand. Kate Morris from Adore Beauty. Melanie Perkins from Canva. Kate Billing from Blacksmith and Candice Pardy from an app created during last year’s lockdown, Jobloads just to name a few.

There are plenty of others, with Naomi Simson of Red Balloon, Janine Allis of Boost Juice and Emma Issacs of Business Chicks all sharing the spotlight.

Among MYOB’s own customers, we’re seeing many female entrepreneurs continue to shine, and you can learn more about just a few of them through the Powering Forward series of inspiring business stories.

These women and countless others have smashed through the glass ceiling and forged their own way in business to create something that truly matters to others.

Women are starting businesses and revolutionising industries in growing numbers, and they’re inspiring the next generation of young female entrepreneurs along the way.

As part of International Women’s Day this year, MYOB has been celebrating female entrepreneurs with the spirit and drive to build a venture from the ground up.

The theme for the annual celebration this year is #ChoosetoChallenge, highlighting the fact that a challenged world is an alert world, and from challenge comes change.

Entrepreneurial purpose

New Zealand-based Catherine van der Meulen is the founder of Entrepreneurial Women with Purpose, and believes that entrepreneurial education, empowerment and investment can harness growth that has a positive social and environmental impact.

Her work supports women to be the best version of themselves.

Van der Meulen says there has been an emergence of female entrepreneurship in recent years, as women look to create something meaningful in the world.

Some female business owners have gone on to become major disruptors, growing their respective businesses in the knowledge that time is our most precious commodity.

Buoyed by the digital tools and technology to build something from scratch and take it to the world, women entrepreneurs can jump online and undergo further education or access an abundance of books and podcasts.

“Women often have that emotional intelligence to undergo personal growth, and to really contemplate where they want to work in the future.

“They can evaluate the most important things that underpins that deep sense of purpose, and they always make sure they’re doing something that they’re really passionate about,” she said.

Core leadership traits: ‘Head, heart & hands’

MYOB’s chief employee experience officer Helen Lea recently shared a vision of leadership with three core components that strong teams need to consider – head, heart and hands.

  • Head – Ensuring there is a strategic alignment to vision and a connection to purpose
  • Heart – Authenticity, commitment and care for each other as humans; high performance requires connection within the team
  • Hands – The execution of strategy and ensuring the system of work are in place for the business to run well, adjusting along the way to improve and succeed

“COVID-19 has genuinely driven the need for digital adoption and digital uptake among our customer base,” she said.

The next digital revolution needs female leaders

For example, many businesses have needed to pivot to digital invoicing, sales and mobile payments, leading to an exponential adoption of digital tools and platforms for businesses.

“This digital adoption priority is absolutely what we’re passionate about, it’s really critical we maintain that momentum,” said Lea, who recently wrote a piece for Idealog on the subject.

Digitally enabled businesses are more likely to grow revenue, create jobs, more likely to export and to be innovators, according to Lea, and gives female entrepreneurs with a flair for tech a real edge.

“While there can be a lot of trepidation around stepping into digital, there is lots of help out there, so don’t be afraid to reach out to the various organisations available to help, like MYOB.

“One of the joys of working at an organisation like MYOB is that purpose really matters.

“We exist to help more Australian and New Zealand businesses start, survive and succeed.”

With business management tools that offer enhanced monitoring and control of key elements such as cashflow reporting and forecasting, tax processing, inventory management and more, MYOB helps businesses become more adaptable and, ultimately, more resilient in a highly changeable landscape.

Business owners should also be mindful of finding ways to reduce wastage or unnecessary costs when seeking sustainable business growth – and digital tech tools go a long way to addressing these issues.

“I’m very aware of the potential for it to creep in, and part of my role is keeping a close eye on where the potential for waste to come in,” she said.

“The bigger an organisation gets, the more potential there is for waste, and waste is the enemy of productivity, whether that’s the bureaucracy of systems or layers of stakeholder management and decision-making.”

Lea believes that embracing digital tools and reaching out for help from industry leaders, such as MYOB, along the way can allow female entrepreneurs to ultimately achieve business growth.

“Ride the wave, and really look to take hold of the opportunity that this economic window presents.

“There’s no doubt that it will be difficult and there will be challenges, but don’t be afraid to embrace digital tools to help you get there.”