QUT researchers have highlighted a gap in entrepreneurial activity in areas of Queensland, not because people fear failure, but rather because they don’t see the opportunities that exist.
Analysis of the last Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), shows different levels of activity between Australian states and regions based on data collected from 10,000 Australians.
Researcher Dr Chad Renando said comparisons of entrepreneurial activity between regional and metropolitan communities have shown where more support is needed.
“Entrepreneurs in the regions are more likely to believe they have the capabilities and are less afraid of failure, but see fewer opportunities,” said Dr Renando.
He also said it provided insight into how the entrepreneurial ecosystem of cities and regions was prepared for the pandemic.
Cities like Cairns, Ipswich and Townsville ranked first for potential entrepreneurs, the outback of Queensland in the lead for intrapreneurship and the Sunshine Coast and Logan in the lead for informal investors.
Wide Bay and Townsville rank low in terms of “good opportunity”, while North, South and East Brisbane rank low in terms of knowledge, skills and perceived opportunities.
The survey results were released at an event in Brisbane this week hosted by Professor Rowena Barrett of QUT, SSC (entrepreneurship) and attended by Innovation Minister Stirling Hinchliffe, Chief Entrepreneur Wayne Gerard and members of regional councils and QUT researchers.
The differences in entrepreneurial aspirations between men and women were highlighted during a panel discussion involving the chief entrepreneur, report author Dr Char-Lee Moyle, and regional innovators.
Julia Spicer from South West Queensland is the Director Engage and create advice in Goondiwindi.
She said that in the absence of an opportunity, “the need has manifested itself” with regional entrepreneurs, especially women, using entrepreneurship to contribute to household income and build local community.
The report recommends a framework to improve support for regional entrepreneurship alongside that to stimulate female entrepreneurship.
The proposed actions include identifying opportunities and capacities with support networks, greater entrepreneurialism in schools and greater capacity for professional services in less populated areas.
Mr Gerard said he was working with ecosystem stakeholders in the Innovation Advisory Board to ensure entrepreneurial services and programs were available to all Queenslanders.
Dr Renando said a collaborative approach is needed.
“Regions can be supported by bringing together industries, universities and government to build regional capacity and support entrepreneurs at the local level,” he said.
To this end, QUT Entrepreneurship will offer a one-day capacity building program to inspire and develop young beginners in Goondiwindi during the school holidays in partnership with the Goondiwindi Regional Innovation Network.
The GEM Australia study of 10,000 Australian residents aged 18 to 64 is the largest of all GEM surveys in the world.
The survey was conducted by Dr Char-Lee Moyle and supported by QUT Business School. The survey aligns with the strength of entrepreneurship research in the Australian Center for Entrepreneurship Research (ACE) and the ability to analyze data in the QUT Data Science Center.