What is so unique about Aussie entrepreneurs?

There are so many great things about being an entrepreneur in Australia. For starters, lifestyle is a big one. Australia is also a great market for testing out a concept before expanding overseas to Europe or the United States. We are close in proximity to Asia, which represents a plethora of opportunity for the savvy founder.

But what is it that makes Australian entrepreneurs so different from the rest of the world? Is there any difference at all?

In early 2014, the largest nation-wide survey purely focusing on Australia’s technology startup scene took place. Named Startup Muster, the survey was coordinated by Murray Hurps, entrepreneur and General Manager of Fishburners.

The survey garnered over 900 responses and revealed that 41% of Australian entrepreneurs seek to improve a product or service within an existing industry. When compared against other data from the United States in the 2015 Compass Survey the Australian statistics were quite high.

This is an issue that ties back to a number of things in Australian culture; lack of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), inadequate education in the school system and the fact that Australia’s entrepreneurial culture is about 50 years more premature than that of Silicon Valley. However, Australian entrepreneurs share the same curiosity and drive to disrupt as other entrepreneurs worldwide. Local entrepreneurs just have a set of different environmental factors that have created added challenges over the last half a century.

But things are changing, and fast. The change is not only being driven by a startup ecosystem that is encouraging 21st century thinking, but a renewed government focus on innovation. Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull drove home a new direction for innovation and technology in his first speech.

“The Australia of the future has to be a nation that is agile, that is innovative, that is creative. We can’t be defensive, we can’t future-proof ourselves. We have to recognise that the disruption that we see driven by technology, the volatility in change is our friend if we are agile and smart enough to take advantage of it.

There has never been a more exciting time to be alive than today and there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian.

We will ensure that all Australians understand that their government recognises the opportunities of the future and is putting in place the policies and the plans to enable them to take advantage of it.”

The words ‘innovation’ ‘technology’ and ‘disruption’ have never before been spoken in a first speech by any Australian Prime Minister. Entrepreneurs are clearly a demographic that the Australian Government are placing a lot of focus and attention on.

This means that the uniqueness of the Australian entrepreneur stems from their new, developing environment. They still share DNA with entrepreneurs worldwide - a desire to innovate, build, and change.