Australia is in the top three most entrepreneurial countries in the world, falling behind just Denmark and Finland.
According to an international surveyed by Amway, four out of five Australians surveyed had a positive attitude towards self-employment – almost 14 per cent more than the international average.
The survey found that much of the positive attitude is in fact due to Gen Y. Often stereotyped as lazy, 83 per cent of Gen Y Aussies said they would like to be self-employed.
Professor John Breen, an entrepreneurship expert at Victoria University in Melbourne, said Gen Y’s interest in starting their own businesses is a great economic opportunity for Australia.
“Along with university graduates, who are also highly positive about starting their own businesses, Gen Y is an important economic group that has the potential to create wealth and jobs for Australians into the future,” Breen said.
Breen said that the positive attitudes to entrepreneurship may be due to Australia having avoided recession during the financial crisis, letting prospects for business remain encouraging.
“It is pleasing to see these results as attitudes to entrepreneurship in Australia have not always been so optimistic,” Breen said.
Around half the Australians surveyed said they were afraid of starting a business and failing. Fifty per cent also said that entrepreneurship education and teaching of business skills are the most important factors when encouraging entrepreneurship.
Michial Coldwell, general manage of Amway Australia and New Zealand, said that Australia must do much more to provide potential business owners with the tools and confidence they need to overcome this fear of failure.
“It’s important for Australia to have vibrant and determined entrepreneurs, so the more we can do to assist them to start their own business, the better it will be in the long term for our economy,” Coldwell said.
He said championing entrepreneurship, public funding, and education will provide encouragement for people to start their own business.