Shadow Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt says a Labor Government will provide $1 million for grants over three years for stay-at-home parents to develop home based businesses as part of its Queensland Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow policy.
“Labor recognises that it can be a real balancing act for parents running home-based businesses, with their two jobs – running a business and raising a family,” said Mr Pitt.
“There’s not enough recognition that stay at home mums and dads can be entrepreneurs. It’s good for families and can have benefits for the wider economy also, increasing workforce participation and taking pressure off the daycare system.
“The successful AusMumpreneur network pioneered by Innisfail sisters Peace Mitchell and Katy Garner was a key influence on the policy unveiled by Labor last week.
“Their research showed balancing a business with raising a family is still far and away the biggest barrier to starting a business – children and family remain the top priority for mums.
“Around 43 per cent of mums are motivated to start up a business in order to spend more time with their children, with a desire for more flexibility or to be their own boss also key motivators.
“Queensland Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow is about providing the support home-based businesses need to make their business a success, while keeping a healthy balance between work and family.
“This might be in the way of assistance with business plans, support via mentoring and even financial literacy programs.”
Co-founder of the AusMumpreneur network Katy Garner is thrilled that Labor has recognised mum entrepreneurs as part of its policy.
“The pool of $1 million for grants to support the establishment of home-based businesses is a great first step in terms of tapping into this important group in our community,” said Ms Garner.
“An AusMumpreneur survey for St.George Bank found that along with the balancing act that mums need to pull off, nearly half of mum entrepreneurs admit being afraid of failure stops them from reaching their full potential.
“Other family members play a key role in the success of home-based businesses too. More than three-quarters of mum entrepreneurs call on inspiration from their kids and family, ahead of their business goals to keep them motivated throughout their day.
“Knowing there’s support by way of grants will give a real confidence boost to mums to start up or continue to run a business from home.”
Mr Pitt said Queensland Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow also included the establishment of a fund of up to $1 million to support education in computational science and business development.
“This policy will initially deliver grants of up to $10,000 for structured entrepreneurship and IT skill learning programs to 100 primary and secondary schools across Queensland,” he said.
“Computational literacy and business development skills will be increasingly important into the future as more skilled jobs are threatened by advanced automation.
“The 2014 Australian Industry Report has identified that the challenges from automation are not limited to low-skilled positions with robots increasingly replicating the tasks of medium and high-skilled workers.
“In the United Kingdom computer coding has become a mandatory part of the school curriculum for all students aged 5-16 years old. Queensland risks falling behind unless we provide our kids with the skills needed for future employment.
“A study in the United States has found that up to one in five students who participate in an entrepreneurship training program in secondary school will later start their own company. This is five times the rate of the general population.
“Programs like Club Kidpreneur are providing a strong start in developing financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills and CoderDojo has started to provide more opportunities for children to learn coding skills. However, more investment is needed to provide opportunities for more young Queenslanders.
“Labor will provide our kids with the best skills and knowledge to succeed and to create the wealth generating industries of the future right here in Queensland.”