A new TAFE NSW study has revealed COVID-19 hasn't dimmed the entrepreneurial spirit of the state's businesswomen, as one Ballimore farmer used the pandemic as a stepping stone to grow her business.
The study showed that she is among 46 per cent of small businesswomen who used the pandemic to upskill.
Michelle Mills is part owner of a sheep and cattle farm, and she does most of the bookwork for the family business.
During the pandemic, Ms Mills was among 13,000 female business leaders to take a free online course offered by TAFE NSW called Women in Business.
She said she often felt as though she was in "a man's world" in farming and the course gave her confidence.
"I enjoyed the Value of Mentorship and the Effective Negotiation Skills subjects in the program. In farming negotiation is something we need to be good at. Always negotiating on some level with someone," she said.
"It was good to be a part of something designed for women in business, particularly for women in the country where it can be tricky to get our opinion heard. This course gave me the confidence to speak up, it was empowering."
Ms Mills recently rejoined the working world after focussing on her children for years.
"I had to look at educating myself and bringing myself up to today's skill set," she said.
TAFE Digital General Manager Lyn Rickard said: "With a third of Australian small businesses now headed up by women, the Women in Business program is designed to provide women in every corner of NSW with access to fee-free online training on how to start or build a business."