Almost 80% of Australian entrepreneurs would start up again if given the chance, new research shows, despite almost as many citing lack of access to credit as their main challenge.
The research comes from flexible workplace provider Regus, which surveyed more than 26,000 business managers and owners in 90 countries, including small business owners in Australia.
A small business is defined by Regus as having zero to 49 employees.
The research reveals 77% of Australian entrepreneurs would start up again if given the chance, despite the fact that 75% cite lack of access to credit as their top challenge.
Accessing credit isn’t the only challenge Australian entrepreneurs face.
More than two thirds (67%) of the local entrepreneurs surveyed cite red tape as a top challenge, followed by lack of government support (56%) and current economic conditions (56%).
More than half (52%) of Australian entrepreneurs also cite market domination by large corporations as a serious hindrance.
According to Regus, the results highlight the nimble and flexible nature of Australian entrepreneurs.
“Who knows what state the economy would be in if entrepreneurs decided to play safe and downsize like a lot of their larger and arguably better resourced competitors,” says Jacqueline Lehmann, country head of Regus Australia.
“What I can say, from seeing a lot of entrepreneurs here who work with us, is I think this is a great testament to what we call the ‘Never say die’ attitude.”
According to Lehmann, Australian entrepreneurs are willing to deal with challenges in order to remain autonomous.
“It really seems that once someone has been exposed to really being in charge of their own success and their own destiny, that it is going to be pretty hard to go back to corporate life,” she says.
A separate study from Millennial Branding and oDesk shows people are indeed drawn to entrepreneurship because of the perceived freedom and autonomy.
Millennial Branding is a US-based research and management consulting firm while oDesk – also based in the United States – claims to be the world’s largest online workplace.
They commissioned independent research firm Genesis Research Associates to conduct a global survey of 3,193 people, all of whom are independent workers and active oDesk users.
The survey found 72% of those still in “regular” jobs would like to quit “and work only for myself at some point in the future”, with freedom cited as the top reason.
Almost 90% said they would prefer to choose when and where they work rather than being tied down to a corporate job.
According to oDesk chief executive Gary Swart, the results are not surprising because “no one today wants to be confined to a cubicle”.
Interestingly, almost 60% of the professionals surveyed already classify themselves as entrepreneurs.
According to 90% of the survey respondents, an entrepreneur is defined as someone who has a certain mindset.
When asked to identify aspects of this mindset, respondents said an entrepreneur is a “self-starter”, “risk-taker”, “visionary” and someone who “spots opportunity”.
Only 10% of respondents defined an entrepreneur as “someone who starts a company”.
Like the Regus research, this study shows entrepreneurship is challenging – 47% of those familiar with the term “entrepreneur” said there are downsides.
However, 53% said being an entrepreneur is “an entirely good thing”.
Meanwhile, 75% of all survey respondents said the benefits of being an entrepreneur outweigh the downsides, while 38% would recommend pursuing a “promising start-up opportunity” over a traditional university degree.