Entrepreneurial spirit: New report reveals a third of Aussies want to start their own business

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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.

In contrast, around 42 percent said they were not interested and would prefer to work for someone else. Around 1 in 10 indicated that they had already started their own business.

By age, almost 1 in 2 young Australians (18-29) said they would rather start their own business, compared to 39 percent of middle-aged Australians (30-49) and 19 percent of over 50s. In contrast, nearly 1 in 2 over 50s said they would prefer to work for someone else, compared to 38 percent of young Australians and 40 percent of 30-49 year olds.

By gender, men (35 percent) were somewhat keener to start their own business than women (29 percent). In contrast, a much higher proportion of women – almost 1 in 2 – said they would prefer to work for someone else, compared to just 36 percent of men. This may reflect greater concern among women in having continuity of employment post childbirth and the loss of potential maternity benefits.

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

Key findings

  • Over 1 in 2 men and 41 percent 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 percent of budding entrepreneurs and 75 percent 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,” O’Neill said.

“We’ve got a huge community of budding entrepreneurs eager to get their ideas off the ground, and it’s clear that they need more than money.”

The release of the research coincides with the launch of NAB Startup, a service that allows aspiring small business owners to become operational quickly, with guidance on setting up an ABN, ACN, business and domain name registrations, as well as website creation and invoicing functionality.

“We see plenty of small business owners juggling full time jobs while setting up their new ventures. They have huge amounts of excitement and energy, but very little time, so they need things to be simple, quick and connected,” said O’Neill.

“Services like NAB Startup, our new unsecured $50,000 QuickBiz Loan and digital marketplace for small business Proquo, help entrepreneurs get their business ideas off the ground more quickly and connect with other small businesses.”

NAB Startup has been developed by in-house innovation hub NAB Labs, in partnership with start-up Easy Companies. Based in Sydney at the Fishburners innovation hub, Easy Companies specialises in providing functionality to help get new businesses up and running.

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