Which Federal Member of Parliament became a small business owner on their wedding day?
Which Senator ran a business with their mother before entering politics?
We can often forget that politicians had lives and careers before entering Parliament.
Some of these careers included owning or working in small business. And since politicians will bring the results of their cumulative experience to policy making, we were keen to know what their background in small business had taught them.
So, this federal election, we’ve decided to explore the small business backgrounds of our Members of Parliament.
For example, Nola Marino MP from WA, who along with her husband closed on their farm on their wedding day, shares that running a business taught her about courage and the value of hard work.
“Having the courage to back your instincts goes hand-in-hand with knowing your industry or sector and having a sound working knowledge of your market,” she said.
Senator Peter Whish-Wilson from Tasmania, who ran a successful vineyard with his mother prior to entering Parliament says his background in small business informs his role as the Greens spokesperson for Small Business.
“My experience with small business has taught me about the creativity and innovation that is necessary to run a successful small business. I also know about the risk and the hours of work that small business people put into their businesses. The inherent challenge in running all the different facets of a small business is something I enjoyed immensely,” he said.
The Australian Businesswomen’s Network is an apolitical organisation that ran “My Small Business Story” as a way for Members of Parliament to engage with our community during the federal election campaign.
We are delighted with the contributions our politicians have provided. They demonstrate a depth and variety of business experience, including in retail, public relations, tourism, farms and vineyards.
The feature has drawn support from a range of Members of Parliament.
“I’m a strong supporter of small business as the cornerstone of innovation and the driver of prosperity. I love spending time with local business people, and commend the Australian Businesswomen’s Network for your hard work in teaching women the skills to start, manage and grow a business,” said Dr Andrew Leigh MP.
Read the small business profiles from Australian politicians here.