Bronwyn Reid

Bronwyn Reid, Director, Small Company, Big Business: Female Leader Conversations

Bronwyn Reid is an author, speaker, regional small business owner and entrepreneur with over 25 years’ experience, University Lecturer and small business advocate. She used this wealth of experience to create Small Company, Big Business, which prepares small business owners for doing business with large organisations and Government clients.

How did you evolve from small business owner to advocate?

My heritage is small business for many generations and I am regionally based, so I understand how critical small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are to regional economies. The dynamics of the relationship between small and big businesses is an important economic success factor. Too often SMEs do not get a fair chance at participating in their supply chains.

I wrote Small Company, Big Business to get more SMEs into supply relationships with their big compatriots.

How can large organisations and government support small businesses?

Pay your bills on time and reduce your payment times. Recognise the value of local and small suppliers. When Queensland and New South Wales flooded, the supermarkets quickly ran out of food. Independent and small retailers sourcing locally did not.

Recognise that supporting small suppliers is good for the Australian economy – nationally and locally.

Be aware of your own large suppliers. Can you require them to include smaller companies in their supply chains?

How can small businesses prepare to deal with disasters?

The basic preparation plan involves seriously considering the things that could go wrong, what would happen if it did go wrong, how you could stop them from happening (or make the impact less), and most importantly, what to do if the worst does happen. With even a basic plan, you will not be caught like a rabbit in the headlights – frozen in fear and not knowing what to do. Many will recognise this as a simple Risk Management process.

What big changes for business emerged from covid disruption?

The rise of business with purpose.

People are now looking for businesses with a strong, believable “why” that has a positive impact upon society. Customers and investors can see through a thin veneer of words.

Restructuring complex supply chains.

COVID-19 exposed the real risk, and the flow of goods and people stopped.

Trust is now the currency of success.

Business is trusted and seen as more competent than Government, the Media and Non-Government Organisations. Stakeholders are looking to business to solve social issues.

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Femeconomy identifies and amplifies companies that have at least 30% women on the Board of Directors or are 50% female owned.

Companies with female leaders are more likely to have workplace flexibility and less likely to have a gender pay gap, so they are helping to create gender equality for their employees and communities.

Posted by Jade Collins - Femeconomy Director

Jade Collins has 20 years’ global experience in corporate executive Human Resources and management consulting roles in the Mining, Energy and Aerospace industries, leading large scale, complex multi-million-dollar change management programs. Jade finds the combination of her HR, Psychology and MBA qualifications and her leadership experience is invaluable for increasing gender equality in leadership across industries. Jade was a member of the Queensland Government's Strategic Advisory Group for the Toward Gender Parity: Women on Boards Initiative and the 2019 CQU Alumni of the Year for Social Impact for her work with Femeconomy.