According to the latest figures from EY’s Global Job Creation Survey 2016, as many as 61 per cent of Australian entrepreneurs are expected to grow their workforce over the course of the year.
Australian figures sit slightly above the global average of 59 per cent, almost doubling the 12-month forecasts of 31 per cent.
The survey of nearly 2,700 global entrepreneurs indicated that disruptive entrepreneurs (those who change some or all of the rules of their sector) and innovative entrepreneurs (those who have created a brand-new product or service in the past year) are expanding their workforce at a much faster rate than their conventional counterparts.
EY indicated that 72 per cent of hires will be in the Australian market and 28 per cent in overseas markets, with 10 per cent of total workforce growth coming in the form of young workers in their first role.
EY middle market leader Schalk Barnard said 47 per cent of Australian entrepreneurs grew their workforce more than expected in the past 12 months – surpassing the global average of 40 per cent.
“Even against a backdrop of subdued economic growth, Australian entrepreneurs are growing at rates they didn’t forecast a year ago. There is no doubt this sector is becoming more and more important to our domestic economy.”
According to Mr Barnard, 48 per cent of entrepreneurs said their growth was largely organic, with 26 per cent attributing their growth to M&A and alliances.
Of note over the 12 months for Australian entrepreneurs will be the ability to identify, attract and serve new customers, said Mr Barnard, with 26 per cent of respondents citing this as their biggest challenge.