The Anatomy of the Australian Entrepreneur: Understanding micro, small and medium business entrepreneurs in Australia

The Anatomy of the Australian Entrepreneur: Understanding micro, small and medium business entrepreneurs in Australia Report

  • Author(s): Rola-Rubzen, Maria Fay
  • Published: 2011
  • Publisher: Ninti One Limited

Abstract: This report is the result of research into how Indigenous and non-Indigenous owned micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) perform. It takes as a starting point the potential role small business could play in improving Indigenous people’s participation in the economy, recognising that this has a direct impact on Indigenous people’s wellbeing. After reviewing the literature to reach an acceptable definition of small business, the report makes a case for a comparative study of Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses. It presents an overview of enterprises participating in the study: their location, size, type of activity and status (Indigenous or non-Indigenous), number of years in operation and structure. It profiles business owner managers and managers, examining formal and informal business training, previous experience in business and membership of associations or networks. The report then moves into a study of motivations for starting up a business, revealing the priorities of Indigenous and non-Indigenous entrepreneurs and analysing how businesses were originally financed. The performance of businesses as revealed by reported profit and loss and by the perceptions of the entrepreneurs is discussed. This discussion reveals congruence in the views of Indigenous and non- Indigenous entrepreneurs over the critical factors influencing business success. The study concludes with an examination of support mechanisms utilised by entrepreneurs in establishing their business and outlines additional support business owners and managers believe would assist them in running their business. The report then examines business owners’ and managers’ goals and challenges for the future. Participants in the research are generally optimistic. With clearly defined and achievable business goals, many feel they are on track to meet those goals, despite a keen awareness of the constraints and challenges facing them. Many Indigenous business people identify more accurately targeted and accessible support as a key element in delivering a more sustainable and profitable Indigenous business sector. The report concludes with a summary of key findings in response to the research’s goal of understanding the critical success factors for business, a comparison of performance, an outline of business models in operation in the MSMEs studied and specific measures to support Indigenous business. The conclusion reinforces the need for support measures that will encourage sustainable growth.

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Suggested Citation
Rola-Rubzen, Maria Fay, 2011, The Anatomy of the Australian Entrepreneur: Understanding micro, small and medium business entrepreneurs in Australia, Report, viewed 10 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=4474.

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