Getting to know you series: Migrant Small Business Owners

We often hear the mantra, ‘small business is the engine room of our economy.’ But do we ever pause to think about what that engine room actually looks like in the Australian business landscape today?

Looking a little closer at these so-called ‘small’ engines, shows us that they are much more powerful than we perhaps give them credit for. The multicultural space for migrant small business owners is thriving beyond expectations – and demonstrates the fundamental role of migrants and their contributions to opening greater opportunities in the Australian market.

So, in the spirit of our MultiConnexions ‘Getting to Know You’ series, let’s look at migrant business owners in a bit more detail.

They are often underestimated.

The unfortunate reality is that migrant small business owners are often even more undervalued and even less represented even though they are a sizeable group of owners. Migrants own approximately one third of small businesses in Australia – over 620,000 businesses – and collectively employ over 1.4 million people.

They are incredibly hard-working.

On average, nearly half of migrant business owners work hours that exceed the typical full-time working week. They are dedicated and truly invested to ensuring their small business prospers in an already competitive market.

They are aspirational.

Even though revenue and profits are paramount for any business, financial success is not the sole motivating factor for this audience. Their aspirations run much deeper and wider and they value the freedom to make their own decisions. The research shows that some of the key drivers behind their aspirations are family values, greater independence and a desire to try out an innovative idea.

They are fearless and bold.

While many of us may be afraid to take the steps towards running our own business right here in our own home country, Australia’s many tenacious and fearless migrant business owners are doing it in a foreign country, often in a foreign language and without much knowledge or experience. The vast majority of ethnic business owners – at 83 per cent did not own or have business experience prior to coming to Australia. This obviously takes guts and determination – a hallmark of this audience.

They are educated.

Over half of migrant business owners have a degree or higher in comparison to non-migrant business owners at 38 per cent.

Image source: Crain’s New York Business

They see opportunities and often credit their culture for it.

Migrants arriving in Australia from foreign countries have different ways of doing things, different ways of approaching life’s problems and different ideas. As such, migrants tend to come to Australia not only with the requisite suitcase but also with many new, innovative and fresh ideas. These ideas often result in winning businesses. The top industry verticals for migrant businesses in Australia are Property & Business Services; Retail & Hospitality and Community Services & Education. Around two thirds of migrant business owners credit their cultural background with having helped them succeed.

So, the next time you walk into your local small business, take the time to get to know their story. You will be sure to learn and appreciate a thing or two!

For further information on how you can better connect and communicate B2B with migrants and migrant business owners, contact MultiConnexions – your multicultural marketing partner, today!

This blog, written by MultiConnexions Account Executive Dennis Nguyen, is the third and final instalment of the MultiConnexions Getting to Know You Series.

Enjoyed this edition of our ‘Getting to Know You Series’? Click below to read parts one and two.

First Edition – Getting to know you series: The Indian Millennial
Second Edition – Getting to know you series: The Chinese Millennial

Image Source – Active Migrations

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