Business ownership high in regional areas
Perspectives on Regional Australia: Business Owners in the Regions found that compared to the national average of one in seven, one in five people in regional areas receive income from their own business, whether it be their primary source of revenue, or a second job.
The main industries business owners were working in were construction; agriculture, farming and fishing, and professional, scientific and technical services.
According to ABS data, the areas with the highest proportion of business ownership were Darling Downs–Maranoa in south-eastern Queensland, at 32 per cent, followed closely by Western Australia’s Wheat Belt at 31 per cent.
The RAI’s General Manager of Research and Policy Jack Archer has welcomed the new data, which challenges the conception that most innovation and entrepreneurialism occurs in metropolitan areas.
“Although Government investment plays an important role in regional development, for the vast majority of regions it’s the private sector that directly drives jobs and boosts the economy,” he says.
“This is excellent news when considering a business survey undertaken by the RAI earlier this year indicates that 20 per cent of business owners in Australia want to more than double the size of their business within five years”.
Mr Archer says the next challenge is understanding how to harness and grow business activity. This includes involving business leaders more effectively in the regional development process, and ensuring businesses can access the resources they need both within and outside of their region.
This is particularly important in areas identified by the ABS as not performing as strongly as other regions, falling mainly across Western Australia, the Northern Territory and South-Eastern Australia.
The RAI’s ‘Survey of Regional Business Conditions and Development Prospects’ will be released in the coming weeks. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list so you don’t miss it.