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Professor Noel Lindsay (email)
Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8303 8198
Mobile: +61 407 507 773
Mr David Ellis (email)
Media and Communications Officer
Marketing & Communications
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 421 612 762
Friday, 16 November 2007
Australians are the most entrepreneurial people in the developed world with more than 20% of adults running their own business, or planning to start one, according to a joint study produced by the University of Adelaide and Swinburne University of Technology.
The study also shows that Australians value independence above income when it comes to their working life.
These findings are part of the world's largest study of entrepreneurship and business ownership, coordinated by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM).
The authors found that most Australians strongly believe that working for oneself provides much greater satisfaction and opportunities than being an employee.
"Business owners in the 22 to 44-year-age bracket are particularly optimistic about the growth of their business in coming years and are focused on the export market, which is very encouraging for the future of small business in Australia," the report's authors say.
The downside is that a large percentage of Australian business owners lack confidence in their own skills and are less innovative than their competitors in other developed nations.
"There is a distinct lack of evidence for technology-based innovation in all sectors measured by the Australian survey. This should be of major concern for policy makers.
"In Australia, start-up businesses also continue to be funded predominantly by people who are known to the business founder - friends, family and other acquaintances. There is a big gap between the amount of money that entrepreneurs would like and the amount that informal investors are willing to invest," the authors claim.
The latest survey also shows that in 2006, for every 100 males there are 70 females engaged in business start-ups, although this figure has varied considerably in the past.
Australia has participated in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor since 2000. For more information go to www.gemaustralia.com.au
To listen to the podcast of a Radio Adelaide interview with Professor Noel Lindsay regarding this study, please go to www.adelaide.edu.au/podcasts/interviews/