By Brittany Lee Waller
When one woman travelled around to schools in Australia and asked young girls what they thought an entrepreneur was, the majority of them had no idea. The very few that did answered, “a man”.
Walking away from that determined to create change and opportunity for women in entrepreneurship; Jo Burston was that one woman, and now the Founder of Rare Birds, a movement inspiring all women to become entrepreneurs by choice.
“I want to see 1 million more women entrepreneurs within the next 10 years, globally. That is our mission at Rare Birds. We want to inspire women. We want to give current entrepreneurs a voice. We want to allow them to tell their story, so that a few years from now, when you ask a young girl what she wants to be when she grows up, it’s not so surprising when she says she wants to own her own company or maybe even change the world.”
Rare Birds begins with a book sharing the stories of Australia’s most influential women entrepreneurs. Featuring honest and jaw dropping accounts, Rare Birds will take you into their real journeys, motivations, sacrifices and what they still dream of achieving. From the likes of Naomi Simson from Red Balloon who began the company out of her house with a $25,000 personal investment and grew it to 46 employees by 2011, to Layne Beachley who encourages women to dream big at Aim For The Stars, and Jodie Fox at Shoes of Prey who personally ran the 3kms from Bondi-to-Bronte in a pair of 4.5 inch gladiator sandals just to prove her shoes are both comfortable and stylish. These are just a few of many women to be featured, some of whom have championed against great adversity.
“I want to break down the barriers that exist for these women, so that we can pave the way for girls to have greater confidence, more government and financial support, access to education resources, mentorship, funding and investment, so that they and their business have the opportunity to grow and succeed,” says Jo.