A new Ernst & Young report has found that Australia ranks fifth among G20 countries in terms of having a conducive environment for entrepreneurial activity, but suggests more can be done to foster budding Aussie entrepreneurs.
EY’s G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer 2013, released today, concludes that, while Australia has a favourable environment for entrepreneurial activity, more can be done to foster entrepreneurial businesses. Launched ahead of the G20 Leaders Summit in St Petersburg next week, the EY report is based on a survey of over 1,500 entrepreneurs and qualitative data on entrepreneurial conditions across the G20.
The barometer provides a new way of ranking G20 countries across five key areas important for fostering entrepreneurship: access to funding; entrepreneurship culture; tax and regulation; education and training; and coordinated support. Australia’s ranking amongst the G20 in those areas is as follows:
- Access to funding: 5th
- Entrepreneurship culture: 5th
- Tax and regulation: 8th
- Education and training: 2nd
- Coordinated support: 15th
EY Partner Annette Kimmitt said that as the mining investment boom wanes, successful entrepreneurial businesses will be more important than ever for future job creation and the sustainability of the Australian economy.
“Our biggest challenges in fostering entrepreneurs lie in access to skills and funding, as well as the perception of entrepreneurship as a viable career choice,” Kimmitt said. “Government, corporations and entrepreneurs need to work together to address these issues and ensure we continue to create an environment that supports entrepreneurial businesses. Small capital markets are a key hindrance for entrepreneurship in Australia, which over the years has attracted low levels of private equity compared to other mature G20 markets.”
Further Aussie figures from the EY report include:
- 53 per cent of Australian entrepreneurs say access to bank loans has deteriorated.
- 34 per cent reported seeing a dip in venture capital funding.
- 37 per cent say government funding has deteriorated.
- 48 per cent believe Australia has a culture that encourages entrepreneurship – down from 80 per cent in 2011.
- 53 per cent of local entrepreneurs would like to see increases in tax incentives focused on innovation.
- It takes only two days to set up a business in Australia, against a G20 average of 22 days.
- 50 per cent saw an improvement in entrepreneur-specific courses at universities and business schools
- 38 per cent say the top priority for improving student perception of entrepreneurship is the promotion of success stories.
- 69 per cent now think students need access to specific training to become entrepreneurs, a reversal in sentiment from 2011 when 64 per cent of respondents didn’t think training was required.
- 54 per cent of Australian entrepreneurs surveyed said mentoring opportunities had improved.
- 29 per cent said improving government start-up programs was key to accelerating entrepreneurship.
“Our research found that young entrepreneurs were particularly vulnerable, with 44 per cent of Australian entrepreneurs under 40 reporting they find it very difficult to access funding,” Kimmitt said. “In this environment, any measures that support investor confidence and attract new sources of funding will be important in ensuring Australia’s entrepreneurs don’t lose their drive.
The full report EY report can be found here.
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