Australia’s small business sector contributes more than half a billion to national GDP and employs 5.1 million people, according to a new snapshot of the local business landscape.
Published on Monday Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO)The report compiles data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Taxation Office to outline the SME sector’s footprint in 2021-22.
Small businesses contributed $506 billion to the economy, equivalent to one-third of the country’s gross domestic product, the report said.
That figure is up 15% year-on-year, indicating a strong rebound from the COVID-19 restrictions in the SME sector.
Australia’s 2.5 million SMEs – which include self-employed entrepreneurs – provide an average of more than two jobs.
Those SMEs are of massive importance to early career workers as around 42% of apprentices and trainees work in an SME.
Ombudsman Bruce Pilson said the report, released a day before the United Nations’ Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Day, was an opportunity to celebrate Australia’s hard-working entrepreneurs.
„This is a great opportunity to say thank you and show support for the small businesses that are important in our lives,” Bilson said in a statement.
How much do small business owners earn?
The report also highlights the challenges of running an independent enterprise, even as SME contributions increase as a proportion of national GDP.
When total work hours are calculated, three-quarters of self-employed business owners earn less than an adult’s full-time wage, the report says.
55% of small business owners with 1 to 19 employees earn less than an adult’s full-time wage. Reflects recent research that entrepreneurs pay last – If there is.
SME owners also put in the hard craft.
About 61% of SME owners with one to 19 employees work 39 hours per week or more, which is higher than the Australian average of 38 hours per week.
Who makes up the small business sector?
Notably, the report also explores the changing demographics of the Australian entrepreneurial community.
Small business owners, overall, are older: 47% are 50 or older, a figure that has increased in every census since 1996.
At the lower end of the scale, 8% of small business owners are 30 or younger, a significant decrease from a peak of 17% in 1976.
Bilson said the reasons for that disparity were worthy of investigation, with separate research showing Australia presents a more difficult environment for new entrepreneurs than neighboring countries.
„We need to nurture and nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs, value self-employment and encourage and enable small businesses and the livelihoods they make possible,” he said.
„We need to understand why owning a small business is not attractive to young Australians.”
As entrepreneurs age, the gender gap improves.
Women now make up 35% of business owners, and since 2006, the number of women owning businesses has tripled that of men.
Those statistics are worth celebrating, Bilson added, „but we know there’s a glass ceiling for women’s entrepreneurship, especially access to finance.”
The rich cultural background of Australia’s SME community is also showcased in the figures.
A third of small businesses are owned by entrepreneurs born outside Australia, which is higher than the 29% of the general population born overseas.
However, only 1% of small business owners self-identified as First Nations Australians.
„Further research is underway, including by the Center for Domestic Business Leadership at the University of Melbourne, to deepen understanding of the domestic business sector,” the report says.
„Additional research, supportive government procurement activities and reports of vibrancy in the domestic business sector are welcome and encouraged.”
Originally published Smart company.
„Oddany rozwiązywacz problemów. Przyjazny hipsterom praktykant bekonu. Miłośnik kawy. Nieuleczalny introwertyk. Student.