Men Standing

New Study: Australia and New Zealand leading APAC in entrepreneurial spirit, optimism and confidence

Sydney — Australia, 21 April 2021

Entrepreneurs in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) emerged from the last year feeling confident about their businesses according to a new study by Frost & Sullivan and Oracle NetSuite. The study of 233 entrepreneurs in ANZ, and almost 300 entrepreneurs from across six other APAC economies, examined changing attitudes, beliefs, and aspirations among entrepreneurs following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study found that Australian entrepreneurs have a number of key differences to their peers in other economies, as they are starting businesses later in life, are more likely to be serial entrepreneurs, and are more motivated by a better work-life balance. Despite differences between economies, the study found that entrepreneurs across APAC regard technology as an important factor in their business success.

“The results of this study show that we can feel confident about the state of entrepreneurship in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Mark Dougan, director, Frost & Sullivan. “Entrepreneurship is a lifelong journey of learning, and following the uncertainties of last year, the most important lesson learned is having a flexible business model. Most entrepreneurs feel they have managed to respond well and feel confident in their own success, as well as in the growth and future success of their businesses.”

ANZ entrepreneurs are confident about their next stage of growth
Entrepreneurs in ANZ are some of the most confident about their businesses than their peers in other APAC markets.

  • Australian and New Zealand entrepreneurs emerged from the last year feeling confident about their businesses and next stage of growth (83 percent and 75 percent respectively).
  • Entrepreneurs in China (98 percent) were the most positive, followed by India (87 percent), whilst Japan were the least confident (67 percent).

Entrepreneurs from ANZ are not your typical APAC entrepreneur
Australian entrepreneurs are starting businesses later in life, while entrepreneurs from ANZ are more likely to start multiple businesses.

  • 61 percent of Australian entrepreneurs were 35 or older when starting their business, compared to nearly half being under 35 across APAC.
  • ANZ entrepreneurs are more likely to be serial entrepreneurs than their peers in other APAC countries with 63 percent starting three of more businesses.

Entrepreneurs in ANZ start businesses for very different reasons
Australians turned to entrepreneurship to gain control and flexibility, while entrepreneurs in New Zealand started businesses to make money for themselves and their families.

  • 37 percent of Australian entrepreneurs said the biggest driver to becoming an entrepreneur was a better work-life balance or the opportunity to be their own boss.
  • 36 percent of New Zealand entrepreneurs said the biggest driver to becoming an entrepreneur was to make money for themselves and their families.

Entrepreneurs across APAC agree: Technology is key to success
Entrepreneurs across the region regard technology an important factor in their business success

  • Australian (58 percent) and New Zealand (66 percent) entrepreneurs ranked their core business software as important or very important for business success.
  • 57 percent of entrepreneurs are now using SaaS for most or all of their key business applications.
  • Following last year, 52 percent of entrepreneurs across the region are planning to make investments and improvements in their core business software.

“Entrepreneurs are the engine-room of the business eco-system and are vital for a healthy economy here in Australia, New Zealand and across APAC,” said Jason Toshack, General Manager, Oracle NetSuite ANZ. “In this study, we found that Australian entrepreneurs are encouragingly positive, and a lot of that is down to not only their grit and determination, but also the tools and software they now have to manage their businesses and adapt to change. 2020 dealt a challenging set of cards, but with Australia leading in serial entrepreneurship, female entrepreneurship, and most importantly showing confidence, there’s a feeling that anything is now possible.”

For more information go to: Grow HQ: A Resource Guide for Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders

For this study, 513 entrepreneurs were surveyed across eight Asia-Pacific economies, including: Australia, New Zealand, Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Japan, the Philippines and Singapore. Research was undertaken via an online survey in November 2020.

In collaboration with Oracle NetSuite, Frost & Sullivan wanted to understand more about entrepreneurs in the Asia-Pacific region: who are they; what are their goals and aspirations; what are their plans for their business; what do they believe are their key strengths and weaknesses; and how Covid-19 has impacted both their business and their attitudes as entrepreneurs.

About Frost & Sullivan
For six decades, Frost & Sullivan has been world-renowned for its role in helping investors, corporate leaders and governments navigate economic changes and identify disruptive technologies, Mega Trends, new business models, and companies to action, resulting in a continuous flow of growth opportunities to drive future success. For more information visit:

About Oracle NetSuite
For more than 20 years, Oracle NetSuite has helped organisations grow, scale and adapt to change. NetSuite provides an integrated system that includes financials / Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), inventory management, HR, professional services automation and omnichannel commerce, used by more than customers in countries and dependent territories..

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