Survey Reveals Diversity Within the ABN Community
By Kate Tribe
The survey included StartUp and Growth members, members of the ABN Community and people connected to the ABN through social media.
Community older than previously
The participants this time were older than in the 2007 survey, with the proportion of participants less than 45 decreasing from 62% to 54%.
30% were born overseas
These 30% were born in 35 different countries and now part of the ABN Community. The main countries were United Kingdom, New Zealand and United States.
43% live in a major city in New South Wales
While the services of the ABN are largely online and Member roundtables are in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, almost half of the participants (47%) live in New South Wales.
39% don't have children
While 39% of the participants don't have children, the Australian Census 2006 reports that 25% of 25-54 year olds don't have children. Are we too busy working in (or on) our business to have a family of our own or will the 2011 Census show an increase in the proportion without children? The ABN plans to do more research in this area.
Of those with school aged children or younger, more than half do not have access to registered or authorised child care and more than a tenth employ a nanny.
57% are fully employed by their own business
The proportion fully employed by their own business has remained the same since 2007. However, the proportion employed by someone else and do not intend to start their own business has increased slightly, and the proportion who have an idea for a business but haven't started it yet have decreased slightly.
Broad range of business experience
While almost half (48%) of business owners have been in business for less than 4 years, 23% have been in business for more than 10 years, showing the broad range of experience that the community can connect across.
62% use social networks for business
Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn are being used by almost two thirds of the ABN Community to connect their business with others. This is interesting in comparison to Smart Company report of an Optus survey in The 10 next social media trends (October 2010) that only 28% of small businesses used social media to promote their business while 56% had no near-term plans to start. While the comScore State of the Internet in Australia report recently released says that 82% of Australians 15 years or older visit social networking sites (although it doesn't separate personal and business use).