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Challenges in finding full time employment driving Aussies to start their own businesses


A new study released recently by online accounting giant Xero has revealed the motivations driving Australians to quit their day jobs and start their own small business these days.

Interestingly, almost one in six (16 per cent) Australian respondents were spurred to start their own business after having difficulty finding full time employment due to barriers such as language, age, disability, and skills.

“It’s surprising and inspiring that many Aussie small business owners are scratching their entrepreneurial itch in order to overcome employment obstacles,” said Trent Innes, Managing Director, Xero Australia.

“While setbacks due to these factors are disappointing to hear about, the data demonstrates that Australians are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges. When job prospects are tough, these Australians are creating their own opportunities by starting a small business — and it’s never been easier to do that with the support and tools now available.”

The Small Spark that’s kick-starting new businesses

The Xero Small Spark survey canvassed the opinions of more than 340 small business owners across Australia and New Zealand to identify the key factors driving people to go out on their own. The findings also reveal:

  • More than half of Aussie (55 per cent) small business owners cite wanting to be their own boss as one of the top reasons for starting their business
  • A desire to increase their income was the second biggest reason with 42 per cent of respondents indicating this is a reason they went out on their own
  • More than two in five (41 per cent) Aussie small business owners began their venture in search of more freedom and a better lifestyle

“Small businesses are the powerhouses of our economy, and helping them get started is something we’re really passionate about,” Innes said.

“We wanted to better understand what motivates small business owners to do what they do each day so set out to identify the small sparks behind Aussie businesses. We know this spark — that light bulb moment that leads to their small business — starts out as just something small. But it changes the lives of these people and those around them by driving growth and creating jobs. The more of these sparks we have, the quicker we can grow the small business economy.”

Aussie small businesses go the extra mile

The survey results also shines a light on the hardworking nature of Aussie small business owners, with close to three-quarters (72 per cent) of respondents saying they go above and beyond for their customers all the time. Some 55 per cent of respondents said they had taken meetings outside ‘business hours’ while 52 per cent threw in freebies or add-ons to win customer loyalty. A further 49 per cent said they often chipped in their own time to the business.

“It’s really important to note that starting a small business isn’t just about having an idea, getting going, and then sitting back and watching the money roll in,” Innes said.

“It’s hard yakka, and it’s clear that going the extra mile for customers is a key part of why Aussie small business owners are thriving.”

More than a quarter (28 per cent) of Australian small businesses said they were successful from day one, with a further 38 per cent becoming a success within the first year.

“Aussie small businesses are thriving, and we see this passion, dedication, and desire to succeed every day.”