Women in rural, regional and remote enterprises (WiRE): playing big in business - Final Report (DESBT19241)

Wiesner, Retha ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2849-2337 (2020) Women in rural, regional and remote enterprises (WiRE): playing big in business - Final Report (DESBT19241). Government Report. University of Southern Queensland , Springfield, Australia. [Report]


The aim of the Women in Rural, Regional and Remote Enterprises (WiRE) Program is to promote entrepreneurial behaviour of women in rural, regional and remote enterprises through enhancing individual and organisational awareness, participation, skills, competencies, capacity, building support networks, sharing knowledge, growing resilient communities and creating sustainable change in the Queensland region through delivering an integrated program consisting of multiple capacity-building activities. This particular project focused up rural, regional and remote women who needed to reset and reimagine the start-up and progression of their business during COVID-19.

The Department of Employment Small Business and Training (DESSBT) have contracted the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) to deliver the WiRE: Playing Big in Business (WiRE:PBB) project as part of the 2019-2020 Advancing Women in Business Industry Partnership Initiative (AWB).

To the best of our knowledge this study is reporting on a first of its kind virtual hub model using multi-mentoring and masterminding principles to develop RRR women entrepreneurs’ social capital and support their entrepreneurial goal achievement. It attempts to analyse a bold idea in the form of a less conventional approach to tackle entrepreneurship development and support for women in RRR Australia. This research is particularly timely as COVID-19 severely impacted the traditional face-to-face entrepreneurship development models throughout the world, and new virtual models of entrepreneurship development are explored.

The Virtual Hub Model, Virtual Bootcamp and Virtual Interactive Workshops achieved very positive results:
For example:

• All WiRE Hub participants (100%) gave an overall rating of 'very satisfied' their Hub experience.
• Almost eighty percent (78%) of respondents giving their improvement in confidence a rating of between 7 and 10 out of 10.
• Almost eighty-percent of respondents (78%) gave their improvement in skills a rating of between 7 and 10.
• Regarding the overall construct of social capital (defined as the effective functioning of social groups through interpersonal relationships, a shared sense of identity, a shared understanding, shared norms, shared values, trust, cooperation, and reciprocity), all respondents responded that they agree or strongly agree with 26 of the 29 statements, indicating an overwhelming positive response to their experience in the Hub (See Table 11).
• In rating their level of satisfaction in terms of knowledge-sharing during the Hub, all returned a rating of satisfied to very satisfied.
• Ninety-percent of respondents indicated that they have achieved their main entrepreneurship goal set during the Hub Program and that they are motivated keep progressing their main goal or start progressing a new main goal.
• All respondents indicated that they were satisfied overall with the opportunities for engagement in Hub Program.
• All respondents indicated they would recommend participating in a Hub to other rural, regional and remote women.
• Participants in the 'Reset and Reimagine You and Your Business Bootcamp' were highly satisfied with ninety-three percent of participants indicating they were either satisfied or very satisfied (93%).
• Qualitative feedback from participants on the activities on the impact on them and their business was consistently outstanding.

Stimulation of self-employment and employability are central to the program. The WiRE Program builds RRR women’s personal, entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial capacity, become part of a strong entrepreneurial community and support them regardless their location in RRR Queensland. The program enhances their confidence, creates an entrepreneurship mindset, develop entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial behaviour, opportunities to enhance their financial position and a rural entrepreneurship eco-system. Participants also give back through mentoring others in their communities.

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Item Type: Report (Government Report)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Submitted to The Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT).
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Management and Enterprise (1 Jul 2013 - 17 Jan 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2021 00:09
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2021 01:20
Uncontrolled Keywords: women entrepreneurs, rural women entrepreneurs, rural entrepreneurs, Australian women entrepreneurs
Fields of Research (2008): 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150304 Entrepreneurship
Fields of Research (2020): 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3507 Strategy, management and organisational behaviour > 350704 Entrepreneurship
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 15 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 1503 Management and productivity > 150306 Technological and organisational innovation
Funding Details:
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/41066

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