Nick Sherry has stepped down as Minister for Small Business after only 15 months in the role, just prior to a major reshuffle by Prime Minister Julia Gillard this week. The Prime Minister has appointed Mark Arbib, the 40 year old senator for NSW. Senator Arbib also holds the new role of Assistant Treasurer and retains his previous title of Minister for Sport. There are 2 million small businesses in Australia, of which women own over 30%.
Senator Arbib quoted, “Small business is the heart of the economy. I… understand the importance of small business to jobs and wealth creation. They (small businesses) are the heart of Labor’s economic policy.” Senator Arbib was previously Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development and Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness.
During the global financial crisis, he worked with small business to form and grow the $100 million Apprentice Kickstart Program whereby over 46,000 young Australians were helped to start apprenticeships, also helping close the skill gap felt by many small businesses. The Australian Businesswomen’s Network welcomes Senator Arbib to this important new role and we look forward to working with him and his office to ensure the small business sector and particularly women-owned small businesses are well represented. What issues are important to YOU that Senator Arbib should be aware of? Please post your thoughts and concerns.