How Small Businesses Can Foster Diversity

Does diversity and inclusion in a small business really matter? As a small business owner, you could skip the conversations around inclusion and diversity; after all, if you are a one-person band or a team of two to four it doesn’t really apply to you, right?

In this blog, we asked an industry expert to explain why small business need diversity and inclusion strategies.
Questions that may be on your mind:
  • This conversation has little to no bearing on what you do?
  • How could it influence you in the way you do business and help your business?
  • You don’t employ many staff so why would it matter to you?
It matters because:
  • Small business accounts for around 35% of Australia’s GDP and employs almost 44% of the Australian workforce.
  • 93% of the companies in Australia employ between 1-4 people.
  • Innovations and a range of good and services come from small business. Every day small businesses are making products and delivering services to a diverse group of people.
  • You could potentially be missing out on establishing yourself in critical niche markets that want to buy your products and services.
You could say… well that’s all well and good, but how do I bring more diversity into my business when I employ so few people? Some simple strategies to consider:
  • Co-Working: Co-working spaces are now a core feature of the start-up community. They provide low-cost corporate amenities and bring an eclectic group of people who would otherwise have never met.
  • Agility: Small business allows for flexible and adaptable ways of working. They can experiment with new ideas and concepts that allow them to break into new markets far easier than big business.
  • Dominance:  In Australia, 95% of all businesses are small businesses. Leverage the diversity within your small business networks, share products and ideas more easily and frequently with other businesses owners who solve different problems to yours.
  • Versatility: With niche markets and often solving the same problems in different ways, leverage the diversity that already exists within a similar business model.

As a small business owner, you should know that if the people informing your business bring a singular perspective, you are losing money plain and simple.

Agility and adaptability is fundamental for the survival of small business, the global pandemic has demonstrated this so clearly. The resilience that comes from harnessing the difference in people can make all the difference. Diversity brings innovation and a greater level of skills to small business owners, resulting in better products and services which are often better suited to the diverse clientele the small business community services.

If you are curious or need support and advice around how you can bring change to your team or business model contact our team.

About Christine Mudavanhu-Makumbe
Christine is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Utano Consulting. She is passionate about leveraging the differences in people, be it cultures, experiences and backgrounds to grow and develop organisations, government agencies and non-profits.
About Utano Consulting
Utano Consulting is a bespoke Diversity and Inclusion company working with corporates to understand how to better develop and create highly functional teams, that are diverse and operate in a psychologically safe environment.




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