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A third of SMEs in Australia run by migrants

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson has marked Harmony Day (21 March, 2022) by thanking migrant-led small and family businesses for their valuable contribution to the vibrancy of the community and vitality of the national economy.

Mr Billson says one in three small businesses are run by people who have moved to Australia from overseas and these businesses contribute more than their entrepreneurial share across a range of measures including job creation, innovation, revenue and growth aspirations.

“Harmony Day is a timely opportunity to recognise and celebrate the significant contribution of more than 600,000 migrant-led small businesses in Australia today,” Mr Billson says.

“According to CGU’s Migrant Small Business Report about a third of migrant-run small businesses plan to grow their businesses by hiring new staff, with projections indicating the creation of 200,000 new jobs by 2027.

“By 2050 it’s predicted that migration will contribute $1.6 trillion to Australia’s GDP – adding 15% to the nation’s workforce participation rate.

“Migrant small business leaders are educated (51% have a bachelor degree or higher), entrepreneurial and driven, with 42% working in excess of 40 hours per week. So many of their stories are inspiring and there is no doubt our culture, local business communities, and choice of good and services available to consumers and other businesses, are enriched by their presence.

“My agency is keen to share these stories and to raise awareness about the assistance and advocacy work we do for small and family businesses in Australia. We welcome contact from small and family business owners of all cultural backgrounds, to hear about their experiences and insights about how we can help make Australia the best place to start, grow and transform a business. We have access to translator services if helpful in sharing this knowledge.”

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