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New Small Business Matters report

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) recently released their Small Business Matters report detailing some of the current trends in small business.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the Australian economy, making up 98% of all businesses and employing 42% of the private sector workforce. Some key statistics presented in the report include:

  • Self-employed individuals with no employees make up the majority of employment (60%) in Australia. This is followed by small businesses with fewer than 20 employees (37%) and medium-to-large businesses with 20+ employees (3%).
  • Almost half of all small business owners are over the age of 50, with only 8% aged under 30. The number of younger small business owners is decreasing and is now half what is was in the 1970s.
  • Small business owners tend to earn less, with 75% of small business owners taking home less than the average wage. Over half of all small business owners earn less than $1000 per week.
  • Ninety three per cent of small businesses have a turnover under $2 million. Additionally, around 43%of small businesses failed to make a profit in the last year.
  • The majority of small business owners (65%) are men, however, female business ownership is increasing and is almost double the rate from the 1970s.
  • Most small businesses are in the construction industry (18%) followed by professional, technical and scientific services (13%), and rental, hiring and real estate services (11%).
  • Over 80% of all small businesses can be found in NSW, VIC and QLD. Of all small businesses, less than one third are located in regional and rural areas.

ASBFEO has also created a short animation, ‘If Australia had 100 businesses…’ visualising key characteristics of Australian small business.

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