Entries are now open for the 2024 Australian Women’s Small Business Champion Awards, honouring the best of Australia’s female-led small businesses, with submissions closing at 5pm AEST on Wednesday 26 June.

This year marks the third consecutive year of the Awards, which spotlight the achievements of some of the country’s most inspiring women in small business.

The Australian Women’s Small Business Champion Awards features more than 65 award categories including retail categories and four special individual categories.

Female small business owners currently represent more than one-third of all small businesses, according to Australian government data, and recently released research from Commonwealth Bank suggests more Australian women are choosing to start a small business or side hustle, with women opening 43.2% of all new business transaction accounts during the 2023 financial year.

“We’re in the midst of an age of female entrepreneurial empowerment,” Awards founder and manager director of Precedent Productions – which coordinates the Awards, Steve Loe said.

“Despite the current high cost of living and myriad challenges associated with small business ownership at present, Australian women are simply powering through and showing incredible resilience and drive across all industries of the small business sector.

“Precedent Productions has been running the Australian Small Business Champion Awards since 1999 but especially during the past few years, we’ve noticed a steep rise in the success of female-owned small businesses in particular; so much so that we deemed it appropriate to have a standalone awards program that showcases and honours the truly impressive work of women in small business.

“From regional and rural areas to the suburbs and capital cities, female small business operators from all parts of the country are encouraged to enter the Awards – free of charge – as we strive to celebrate the people behind the small businesses that contribute so significantly to our national economy and help to shape their local communities in so many meaningful ways.”

Shortlisted finalists will be announced from July and Award winners will be celebrated on Saturday 24 August 2024 at an event held at Sydney’s The Star.