South-West based research branches out of CQ University's Busselton study hub

CQ University Busselton study hub coordinator Angela Bancilhon and businesswoman Nikki Griffiths are undertaking research projects focused on the South-West.
CQ University Busselton study hub coordinator Angela Bancilhon and businesswoman Nikki Griffiths are undertaking research projects focused on the South-West.

Two women have taken advantage of the CQ University Study Hub in Busselton to undertake research projects looking at what drives people to start online businesses and female entrepreneurs in the South-West.

CQ University study hub coordinator Angela Bancilhon is about to complete her research on digital entrepreneurs.

Ms Bancilhon said in the South-West there were a lot of people who started online businesses because they could not find employment but wanted to live in the area.

She said living in the region had been a driver for people to start these businesses.

"My research is looking at those factors that have led to business creation. For some of them it is opportunities, for others it is more necessity-based," she said.

"In order to compare what is happening in the South-West to what is happening in other locations, I also interviewed people in Queensland and Bali.

"I looked at whether there were any similarities between why they had started businesses and what the differences were.

"One of the things I found was for the people starting businesses in places like Busselton, one of the main drivers was wanting to live there.

"For the people in Bali, it was wanting to have mobility, it is the difference between having a base and being mobile.

"Bali was like a stopping point in a long line of destinations, they might go onto Portugal or Vietnam.

"Quite a few of them identify as digital nomads, they do not actually have a home base at all, it is has been interesting to look at the downsides of that lifestyle as well.

"It looks very glamorous, just grabbing a backpack and travel the world, but the downside is you do not have a community in the same way as you do here."

Ms Bancilhon said many people had started online businesses in software, health and fitness, cryptocurrency, coaching, graphic design, education and consultancy.

Businesswoman Nikki Griffiths has just started her research into the profile of female founders and their motivation to start businesses in the South-West.

Ms Griffiths said she had been in that area for more than 20 years and a topic she was really interested in.

"It has never been done before and I am taking it from an ethnography point of view which looks at the culture," she said.

"It has changed quite a lot in the South-West - especially over the last decade - we are seeing more millennials come through who are starting businesses, and more working mums.

"I am interested to see what the data produces at the end."

Ms Griffiths said from her own experience she had seen women starting up e-commerce type businesses.

"It is what I am experimenting with at the moment, I have just started my 10th business, I have a background in IT and now I am doing it with drop shipping.

"The technology is really fantastic, drop shipping is from manufacturer to customer, so you do not carry stock.

"We are seeing a lot more women starting coaching businesses as well, but what I am really interested in is why so many women are starting businesses."

Ms Griffiths said while she has an idea why people were starting businesses she was keeping an open mind because it might not be the answer.

"From my own personal experience, because I have run large networking groups, a lot has to do with fly-in-fly-out husbands and wives wanting something of their own.

"We are also looking at second incomes, since the economy in WA has declined rapidly a lot of women are coming up with some great ideas they want to produce.

"Some of the businesses may be side hustles, these women may already have jobs, but they are doing all these side businesses."