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Women starting businesses all in the family

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West Australian Women are creating a wave starting businesses

Three Perth sisters are part of a growing wave of WA women running their own businesses.

The number of women who work at their own business in the State has increased 14 per cent from 46,463 in 2006 to 53,130 in 2016, according to ABS data.

In the same period the number of WA men who fit the same category grew only 3.26 per cent to 107,765 and there has been a small decline since 2011.

The trends are similar to nationwide statistics with more women starting their own businesses.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Suzanne Dodds, Erin Thompson and Samantha Crawford have been going back and forth to Australia since their parents first came to the country several decades ago, and all started new ventures in WA this year.

Mrs Dodds is the eldest of the bunch and has run her own businesses for the past 20 years “before it was cool to be a woman entrepreneur”.

She said she got sidetracked doing her master of business administration a few years ago but was back in the business space after starting Complete Home Filtration, which provides water filtration systems to residential homes, in March.

“I did my economics degree back in Belfast and then came out to Australia and didn’t really know what I was going to get into and sort of accidentally fell into a sales role contracting to a company, and from that ended up running my own business,” Mrs Dodds said.

Mrs Crawford, the youngest sister, has recently reestablished herself in WA and opened an aquatic obstacle course on the weekend at Hillarys Boat Harbour which will be open all summer.

“The first business I owned was when I was 18 and it was an advertising company,” she said.

“The past 10 years has been all water sports and the plan really for the new company, Island Aqua Park, is we are likely to be opening another couple of locations on the west coast around Perth.”

Ms Thompson opened a small business for the first time this year in the area of cosmetic treatments.

She said starting her own business, Erin Aesthetics, had been working out well and that she had a handful of staff and plenty of work on the books.

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