New Shopify research reveals that greater financial support, regulatory change and government-led initiatives that make it easier to start a business are seen as the most important changes needed to grow Australian entrepreneurship.

Almost three-quarters of Australians (70%) express a desire to own their own business if all other factors were equal. This interest spans across age groups, with younger demographics showing the highest entrepreneurial enthusiasm – a substantial 84% of 16 to 24-year-olds have entrepreneurial ambitions. 

One in five Australians (21%) already own their own business, and an equal proportion (21%) have seriously considered starting one. Three-quarters (76%) of aspiring entrepreneurs in Australia say they have wanted to start their own business for three or more years.

Among Australia’s aspiring entrepreneurs, the top reasons cited for starting their own business are the opportunity to earn more money (58%), a desire to be their own boss (50%) and work flexibility (40%). 

The appetite for entrepreneurship is prevalent but the barriers to entry remain high. Among those who have thought about starting a business, but do not have serious plans in place, 50% cited financial obstacles as a key issue, 35% said they lacked confidence, 34% said they lacked knowledge and 24% were concerned about their skillset.

When asked which factors would make them more interested in starting a business, Australians who had briefly considered it said government programs to support potential business owners could sway them (58%) and a decrease in the cost of living would encourage entrepreneurship (43%).

Shopify APAC managing director, Shaun Broughton said, “Australians are enthusiastic entrepreneurs, particularly younger Australians. Addressing financial obstacles is essential to unlock a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem and unearth the potential of aspiring entrepreneurs across the country. By enhancing access to funding, reducing financial risks and encouraging people to start a business, we can help reduce barriers to entry for Australian entrepreneurs to drive stronger economic growth, innovation and employment for all.”