New data from the 2016 census has revealed a dramatic surge in the volume of Indigenous business owners over the past decade, while an increasing number of women are also becoming self-employed.
The figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics have revealed that 11,587 people identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who operate their own business, a rise of almost 72 per cent compared with 10 years prior.
However, that number pales in comparison to the overall number of business owner managers, which posted a 2.6 per cent increase in the decade to 1.5 million.
A more equal and diversified mix of business owners was also evident in the gender split, with the number of female business operators climbing 7.6 per cent since 2006, while women owning incorporated enterprises rose by 8.2 per cent.
By comparison, the number of male business owners was relatively flat over the decade, edging up by just 0.3 per cent.
This rise in the proportion of female business leaders corresponds with a rise in the proportion of women in the workforce, which reached a new record high of 60.5 per cent in January 2018, breaking the record of 60.4 per cent set just a month earlier.
Business owner managers now make up close to one in seven (14 per cent) of all employed people in Australia.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.