Australia is one of the best places in the world to start a business in, but people don’t see entrepreneurship as a good career choice, an EY survey has found.
EY’s G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer placed Australia among the top five countries for entrepreneurial activity, based on the availability of funding, culture, tax system, education levels and government support.
Canada, South Korea, the US and UK also ranked in the top quartile of countries in the report.
EY partner Annette Kimmitt said Australia had a strong innovation and research background, low insolvency costs and startup-friendly media.
But only 48% of survey respondents believed that the Australian culture encouraged entrepreneurship, down from 80% in 2011.
“There has been a significant drop in sentiment since 2011,” Kimmitt said.
“Perhaps unsurprisingly, this change coincides with a dip in the overall level of confidence in the local economy, reflecting the slowdown in the mining investment boom and Australia’s vulnerability to a significant downturn in China.
“Another area for improvement is the view of entrepreneurship as a career choice.
“Addressing attitudes towards business failure and improving communication around success stories would go a long way to positioning entrepreneurship as a valid alternative to more traditional jobs.”
Earlier this week, not-for-profit StartupAUS announced plans to organise a three-week Startup Spring Festival intended to “inspire Australians to become entrepreneurs – not just to become lawyers, doctors, and bankers”.
EY called for a coordinated effort from government, corporations and entrepreneurs to boost start-up activity, arguing that successful entrepreneurial businesses could play a major role in job creation and a economic growth as the mining boom declined.
Entrepreneurs surveyed by EY said the Australian start-up culture could be improved by:
– Improving communication about entrepreneurs’ success stories (60%)
– Promoting career opportunities offered by entrepreneurship (41%)
– Promoting the role of entrepreneurs in creating new jobs (47%)
– Improving the tolerance of business failure (46%)
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