ACE research briefing paper 005: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) - Australia 2011 National Report

Steffens, Paul R., Stuetzer, Michael, Davidsson, Per, & James, Neil (2012) ACE research briefing paper 005: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) - Australia 2011 National Report. ACE Research Briefing Paper, 005. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane QLD Australia.


This report maps the current state of entrepreneurship in Australia using data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) for the year 2011.

Entrepreneurship is regarded as a crucial driver for economic well-being. Entrepreneurial activity in new and established firms drives innovation and creates jobs. Entrepreneurs also fuel competition thereby contributing indirectly to market and productivity growth along with improving competitiveness of the national economy. Given the economic landscape that exists as a result of the global financial crisis (GFC), it is probably more important than ever for us to understand the effects and drivers of entrepreneurial activity and attitudes in Australia.

The central finding of this report is that entrepreneurship is certainly alive and well in Australia. With 10.5 per cent of the adult population involved in setting up a new business or owning a newly founded business as measured by the total entrepreneurial activity rate (TEA) in 2011, Australia ranks second only to the United States among the innovation-driven (developed) economies. Compared with 2010 the TEA rate has increased by 2.7 percentage points. Furthermore, in regard to employee entrepreneurial activity (EEA) rate in established firms, Australia ranks above average. According to GEM data, 5 per cent of the adult population is engaged in developing or launching new products, a new business unit or subsidiary for their employer.

Further analysis of the GEM data also clearly shows that Australia compares well with other major economies in terms of the ‘quality’ of entrepreneurial activities being pursued. Indeed, it is not only the quantity of entrepreneurs but also the level of their aspirations and business goals that are important drivers for economic growth. On average, for each business started in Australia driven by the lack of alternatives for the founder to generate income from any other source, there are five other businesses started where the founders specifically want to take advantage of a business opportunity that they believe will increase their personal income or independence. With respect to innovativeness, 31 per cent of Australian new businesses offer products or services which they consider to be new to customers or where very few, or in some cases no, other businesses offer the same product or service. Both these indicators are higher than the average for innovation-driven economies. Somewhat below average is the international orientation of Australian entrepreneurs whereby only 12 per cent aim at having a substantial share of customers from international markets.

So what drives this high quantity and quality of entrepreneurship in Australia? The analysis of the data suggests it is a combination of both business opportunities and entrepreneurial skills. It seems that around 50 per cent of the Australian population identify opportunities for a start-up venture and believe that they have the necessary skills to start a business. Furthermore, a large majority of the Australian population report that high media attention for entrepreneurship provides successful role models for prospective entrepreneurs. As a result, 12 per cent of our respondents have expressed the intention to start a business within the next three years. These numbers are all well above average when compared to the other major economies.

With regard to gender, the GEM survey shows a high proportion of female entrepreneurs. Approximately 8.4 per cent of adult females are actually involved in setting up a business or have recently done so. Although this female TEA rate is slightly down from 2010, Australia ranks second among the innovation-driven economies. This paints a healthy picture of access to entrepreneurial opportunities for Australian women.

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ID Code: 53060
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: New Venture Creation and Strategy, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), Australia, gender, Entrepreneurship Society Economy, international entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship policy, practitioner, ACE report
ISBN: 978-1-921897-60-3
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Entrepreneurship (150304)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 The Authors and Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 12 Aug 2012 22:24
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2015 04:10

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