Cafe owners and retailers leading Australia’s entrepreneur boom: Survey

Ryan Trainor Bschool and Republic Education founder

One in three Australians want to start their own business, a new report on entrepreneurship has found.

And the most popular businesses Australians are starting are not online –they’re bricks-and-mortar retail stores and cafes.

In a survey of 1000 Australians, Nab Economics reveals there is a cultural boom in entrepreneurship that will change the Australian landscape of traditional workplaces and jobs into the future.

Nearly 50% of young Australians want to start their own businesses, according to the survey.

But empowering these people to achieve their entrepreneurial ambitions requires a tactile, data-oriented and realistic approach to address some of the issues they face today, says BRW Rich Lister and Republic Education founder Ryan Trainor.

Trainor’s education group runs BSchool, which helps entrepreneurs like Haweya Ismail turn their ideas into reality through training and access to mentors like RedBalloon’s Naomi Simson, former cricketer Ricky Ponting and Carmen’s founder Carolyn Creswell.

“We’re just starting to scratch the surface with entrepreneurship in Australia,” Trainor told SmartCompany.

“We need to get some real data around what is preventing people from starting a business and make some really policy change.”

According to the NAB report, 75% of aspiring entrepreneurs will continue working in their current job while starting a business on the side.

This rising tide of budding entrepreneurs want more flexibility at work and want to be a part of a community of fellow founders.

Of those that do start their own business, 50% begin with less than $5000,

But limited funds and the prospect of not having regular income stop many aspirational entrepreneurs from taking the leap.

As a start, Trainor recommends these hopeful founders build up their networks and connect with online entrepreneur hubs around the world.

“If you’re in Australia and you want to do a startup, what region do you go to?” he says.

“There’s fantastic opportunities to think a lot more macro around entrepreneurship.

“A lot of people fail because they’re stifled within their own reality of what things are rather than gaining experience from people who can support them.”

In addition to this, bold policy changes like government tax breaks and solutions to lower the cost of living so entrepreneurs in rural areas can start businesses and achieve success is the kind of action needed to take advantage of this cultural boom, Trainor says.

“There’s an enormous amount of confusion out there from ads saying you can get funding for small business,” he says.

“We need to break down and create transparency around funding.”

The NAB study also indicates that more than 50% of men believe highly in their entrepreneurial ability, compared to 41% of women.

Female respondents were nearly 10% more likely to be self-critical of their entrepreneurial ability than men, with more than one fifth of women surveyed indicating their entrepreneurial level is “poor”.

Despite this, Trainor says the stereotype of entrepreneurs being a 20-year old guy building an app in his garage is changing rapidly.

“There’s a growing demographic of female entrepreneurs that are highly educated and extremely confident,” he says.

“Over 60% of our BSchool students are now women over 30 who are tertiary qualified.

“A lot of students may have had kids, they’re going back into the workforce, they’re having that second career option and are now choosing to start businesses.”

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