From: News Limited Network
September 24, 2012
AUSTRALIA can lay claim to being one of the most entrepreneurial economies in the world.

An annual global survey has pegged us as second only to the United States at the rate of start-ups (6 per cent compared to 8.3 per cent of the population) and second only to South Korea for the rate of new business ownership (4.7 per cent compared to 5.1 per cent).

And that in itself is good news. New businesses mean new jobs, with about 33 per cent of the entrepreneurs expecting to create at least five jobs in the next five years and more than one in ten (11 per cent) expecting to create 20 or more new jobs.

Even the downside of the Global Entrepreneurship Survey – carried out by the Queensland University of Technology in conjunction with a global network – looks favourably toward Australia’s new breed of business owners.

“In 2011 the rate of discontinued businesses in Australia was … approximately the same as the average of developed economies,” the report says.

“In that sense the relatively high rate of discontinuances simply reflects the healthy renewal of the business population in Australia.

“Indeed, many business closures are not failures but successful business exists or result from better alternative opportunities for the founders.”

But while our spirit may rank highly on a world scale, our vision does not.

Australian entrepreneurs rank poorly when it comes to internationalisation, an element seen as signalling “high ambitions and international competitiveness”.

Just 12 per cent of Australian businesses look overseas – outranking Taiwan, Finland, Spain and Japan, but shadowed by 18 other countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Belgium.

“Most likely this is due to the comparatively large distances between Australia and its closest international markets,” the report says.

“The majority of the comparative countries with high international orientations have rather small domestic markets or are European sharing borders with other countries.”
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