More than half of entrepreneurs plan to increase workforce in 2013; innovation key driver of success

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Friday 22 February 2013 - Entrepreneurs globally are almost twice as likely as their corporate counterparts to create new jobs in 2013, with 54% of entrepreneurs1 surveyed saying they expect to increase their work force compared to only 28% of corporates2.

According to EY’s new report, Global jobs creation, innovation was seen by entrepreneurs not only as the one genuine differentiator and advantage they had over the competition (88%), but also as a genuine driver of job creation (74%). The report is based on a survey of 600 former EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® winners from around the world, who had a collective 18% revenue growth rate in the past two years and employed over 304,000 people in 51 countries.

EY Oceania Entrepreneur Of The Year Leader, Bryan Zekulich said innovation played an essential role in helping entrepreneurs create new jobs and beat the competition.

“Our research found that entrepreneurs view innovation as the key source of their competitive advantage. In fact, 41% of Australian respondents said that innovation within their business is now a structured, managed process, highlighting the importance placed on it as part of their company culture,” Zekulich said.

The research also looked at the drivers for entrepreneurs' entry into a given market, with passion for their product or service rating the highest (43%), followed by improving an existing product or service (36%) and tapping in to niche markets (33%).

“We know that entrepreneurs are often passionate individuals, finding opportunities where others only see obstacles, so it’s not surprising to see that reflected in the results.

“With the possibility of the next big thing waiting around every corner, the IT and technology sectors rated highest when it came to zeal for its products. Entrepreneurs in the manufacturing sector were more focused on improving an existing product or service, while those in pharmaceutical and biotech were more likely to be searching for new, niche markets.

“Entrepreneurs really are the lifeblood of our economy, both locally and globally - fuelling growth, driving productivity and innovation and creating new jobs,” Zekulich said.

When it came to filling those jobs, the research found that entrepreneurs primarily looked for candidates with specific industry knowledge (57%), sales and marketing experience (25%), and management or leadership skills (22%). The need for specific industry knowledge was even more pronounced among Australian entrepreneurs coming in at 61%, second only to Ireland (68%) and on equal footing with Canada (61%).

“While technical expertise is important, what really matters to entrepreneurs is the capacity of the job candidate to transform ideas into actions which will help keep them ahead in their industry.”

1EY Global Job Creation Report – February 2013
2EY Global Capital Confidence Barometer – October 2012


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Contact details:

Rebecca Aley
EY Australia
Tel: +61 2 9276 9305 or 0418 835 849