Online marketplace to support women affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
Global Sisters, a not-for-profit movement democratising entrepreneurship for women, has announced the launch of their online Marketplace, a one-stop-shop for Australians to purchase products, services and experiences from small businesses owned and run by female entrepreneurs.
The Global Sisters Marketplace offers a vast range of products and experiences, including fermenting your own pickles, Cambodian cooking with kids, indigenous food classes, medicine cooking, jewellery making, clay product-making, and Japanese silk dying, among others.
Supporting women impacted by the pandemic
Global Sisters caters to women who are unemployed, under-employed or in unstable work. This includes women who are solo parents, over 50 years old, regional or rural based, living or caring for someone with a disability, migrants, refugees, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or receiving government income support.
With the launch of the Marketplace, they are extending their support to women who have experienced a reduced income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Global Sisters CEO Mandy Richards said COVID-19 women bore the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic and recession. For this reason, rebuilding communities and businesses also means putting adequate emphasis on supporting women.
“We have worked with hundreds of female entrepreneurs to grow and take their businesses online, and the Marketplace is a significant step in providing women with the exposure, tools, and networks needed to support and uplift each other through these trying times,” Richards said.
The Global Sisters Marketplace launches as many women are trying to re-build their businesses or start a new business before 2021, while many Australians also prepare for the Christmas and holiday shopping seasons.
“If you’re looking for a fun activity for your upcoming Christmas party, a meaningful way for your company to give back to the community, are planning ahead for holiday gifts, or want a unique gift for yourself or a friend that supports Australian women, this is the place for you,” Richards said.
Supporting women-led micro-businesses is smart business
In Australia, an enormous 89.2% of businesses are “micro-businesses” (employing less than four staff), which amounts to more than two million businesses. Businesses with an owner manager and no employees – which reflects the majority of businesses supported by Global Sisters, provide income to nearly one million Australians as of July, 2020.
While the number of employees fell by 312,400 between July 2019 and July 2020, the number of women in microbusiness actually increased by 8,800. In fact, over that period, women in microbusiness exhibited the strongest growth of any category of employment at a rate of 2.3%.
According to Richards, these numbers highlight the importance of the support that organisations such as Global Sisters provide to women.
“Women-led micro-businesses have shown extraordinary promise during the pandemic, and more women are flocking to this type of business model for its more manageable flexibility and control, particularly for working mums, who were evidently left behind in this year’s federal budget,” Richards said.
“With little to no government support for women-led micro-businesses despite women being severely impacted by the pandemic, it’s important we recognise these business leaders and entrepreneurs aren’t asking for handouts, they’re simply asking for a fair go and equal playing field,” she said.