Three reasons to be an entrepreneur in Australia

Young aussie
By Eleanor O'Neill, CA Today

18 April 2017

With uncertain times presiding over Europe and the US, some entrepreneurs may be tempted to turn their attention down under.

In recent years, Australia has become an attractive destination for startups and budding entrepreneurs. Melbourne-based Manny Stul was named as EY's 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year and the wider business climate features a number of more unusual startups finding success.

Here are some of the reasons why now is a good time to be an entrepreneur in Australia.

1. Funding is on the way up

Investment in startups and innovation has never been higher in Australia. In the fintech market alone, KPMG reported an increase of $471m poured into the sector last year.

The Australian government is investing time and money in home-grown businesses with a number of initiatives aimed at boosting the success of entrepreneurial ventures:

  • The Entrepreneurs’ Programme offers grants, and access to a network of private sector advisors;
  • the Austrade Landing Pad helps startups expand globally through international innovation centres;
  • and the research and development (R&D) tax incentive allows smaller companies to claim a 43.5% refundable tax offset against R&D expenditure that amounts to $100 million or less.

2. The iron is still hot

While entrepreneurship is seeing a growing level of prominence, competition among new businesses is still fairly open.

StartupAUS CEO Alex McCauley commented: “Australia is ranked 1st in the Asia-Pacific and 7th globally in the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Index. However Australia still records some of the lowest rates of startup formation... for a developed nation."

A lower number of competitors in the economy raises the likelihood of a good idea and/or team being noticed and makes getting spaces in incubators, co-working spaces and accelerator programmes easier at the local ecology level.

3. View across the water

We're not just talking about golden sands and sparkling blue waves.

Proximity to Asia in both distance and time zones is a major selling point for Australian businesses. The entire Asia-Pacific region is a hub of technology and economic growth with a vast consumer base looking for the next big thing.

Hong Kong and Singapore, in particular, have a good business relationship with their neighbours across the sea.

Topics

  • Business
  • Australia

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