Gender-comparative use of small business training and assistance: a literature review

Undertakes a gender-comparative review and comparison of the Australian and international literature on the use, needs and awareness of government and independent sources of training and assistance for women in small business to identify whether women’s needs differ from those of men and whether existing delivery mechanisms disadvantage them. Consolidates findings of research and sets an agenda for researchers, policy makers and assistance providers. The findings highlight: the potential for accountants, the most used source, to expand their role; the formulation of quality standards and accreditation for consultants engaged by government; electronic information technology systems to mitigate location and language barriers; and user-friendly training content and delivery. Future research should clearly delineate between the various sources of training and assistance; their use and usefulness; the awareness, use and needs of women; and variations over business life-cycle stages.

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