Abstract

Microbusinesses form an important basis for future entrepreneurial and economic development in Australia. The microbusiness sector contributes significantly to Australia’s economy, its social fabric and its ability to evolve, innovate, incubate and meet changing economic demands. The objective of this paper is to examine the important role microbusiness plays in the Australian economy and to provide a formal definition of what constitutes a microbusiness. Traditionally business in Australia has been classified as being a ‘small’, ‘medium’ or ‘large’ with the additional categories of ‘small to medium’ (SME) or ‘multi-national enterprises’ (MNE). An additional complication is created when trying to determine if a business exists or if it is just a ‘hobby’. Further to this, there is a lack of microbusiness specific data collected and published because the key regulatory and reporting agencies do no not recognise microbusinesses as a separate category or if they do, they are only included as a relatively unmonitored and unrepresented subset of small business. It is contended that Australia lacks an appropriately defined microbusiness category that could be used to create government support devices and steps to monitor their economic significance.

This paper discusses the significant ramifications this has for businesses in general and the Nation’s economy. Based on this analysis the paper sets out the criteria for the establishment of a new category for microbusiness.

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