A new report from NAB Economics, surveying 1000 Australians, reveals a strong entrepreneurial spirit among aspirational business owners.

One in three Australian’s have an ambition to own their own business, proving Australia’s start-up culture is alive and well, a new National Australian Bank (NAB) report on entrepreneurship has found.

The key findings of the report were as follows:m

  • Around 1 in 3 Australians would like to own their own business with young Australians clearly the most aspirational (nearly 1 in 2)
  • Over 1 in 2 men and 41% of women say they have “good” to “excellent” levels of entrepreneurship
  • The most popular new businesses are cafés and retail, followed by IT and personal services
  • Most budding entrepreneurs would go it alone or with their spouse or partner
  • Around 40% of budding entrepreneurs and 75% of existing business owners need/needed less than $50,000 to get their business off the ground
  • Over 1 in 3 aspirational and existing business owners would be keen to be part of “community” of other entrepreneurs

NAB’s Executive General Manager for Micro and Small Business Leigh O’Neill said a healthy start-up sector is critical to fostering a new wave of growth for the Australian economy.

“Small businesses are so important to creating future jobs and economic growth, and understanding their motivations and needs means we can help support the right ecosystems for growth,” Ms O’Neill said.

Small business a key performance indicator

In a post-election press conference to announce changes to the cabinet, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that looking after Australia’s small businesses is a key performance indicator of his government – and jobs and growth was the key plank of the Coalition’s election campaign.

“Small business is the very engine room of our economy,” said Mr Turnbull.

“I talk about small business, I think about small business, all the time, so does the Treasurer, it is absolutely fundamental. There is a portfolio of Small Business which has certain responsibilities, and that is going to Michael McCormack, who is a great member, a very talented man, as I’m sure you know him well. Everyone is focused on small business.

“It’s one of my great passions and one of the KPIs I’m setting for myself, is ensuring that the Government does more with small business, because very often government makes itself hard to deal with for a small business. The government itself is a big business, it’s a big bureaucracy, if you like, and often finds it easier to deal with other big bureaucracies in the corporate world. So we’re changing that.”

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed Michael McCormack’s appointment as Minister for Small Business, although expressing disappointment that small business will no longer have direct representation in Cabinet.

Current business ownership

According to the most recent ABS data, the number of actively trading businesses in the market sector is approximately 2.1 million, which represented an increase of 1% over the previous 12 month period. The small change in overall numbers belies volatility within the sector though, with a business entry rate (number of new businesses starting up) of 13.7% and a business exit rate (number of businesses that cease trading) of 12.7%.

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