Aussies’ entrepreneurial aspirations


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A new report from NAB, The Lure of Entrepreneurship – Australia’s Start-up Culture, shows the spirit of entrepreneurialism is alive and well in Australia.

The report surveyed 1000 Australians to gauge their entrepreneurial intentions and outlook, and reveals around 1 in 3 respondents would like to own their own business, which rises to nearly 1 in 2 young Australians.

There is also a healthy sense of business confidence between the genders, however men tip the balance with more than 50% of men saying they have “good” to “excellent” levels of entrepreneurship compared to 41% of women.

The majority of respondents would choose to branch out on their own rather than start a business with their spouse or partner, while just 13% would start a business with a friend.

In terms of the types of businesses that are the most attractive to prospective start-ups, the survey found the most popular new businesses are café and retail, followed by IT and personal services.

Prospective female business owners are more inclined to start a café, retail, personal services, health, aged care, child care, or art/craft business, while more men would start an IT/online, construction or trade business.

And while the cost of starting up a new business may seem prohibitive, the survey reveals 46% of existing business owners started their business with less than $5,000.

Additionally, 40% of prospective business owners and 75% of existing business owners say they need/needed less than $50,000 to get the business up and running.

The key inhibitors to starting a business, according to the survey, include insufficient funds, generating enough income and the security of a regular income.

Unsurprisingly, the biggest motivator for aspiring and existing business owners is having greater control over their own future. According to the survey, very few worry about job security, while other motivators include greater rewards for their work efforts, more passion about their work life and better work life balance.

“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,” says NAB’s general manager for micro and small business, Leigh O’Neill.

“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.”

Additional findings from the report include:

  • Business planning (55%) and banking support (49%) were cited as the most critical factors to get business ideas off the ground.
  • A sense of convergence is important for aspiring and existing business owners, with more than one in three keen to be part of ‘community’ of other entrepreneurs, with online the preferred method of interaction.
  • When it comes to business growth, younger entrepreneurs (around 2 in 3) are much more interested in growing their businesses than other age groups.
  • Around 3 in 4 aspirational business owners indicated they would utilise the flexibility of continuing in their current job while they started their business.


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