Research shows migrants own 33% of all small businesses in Australia

Three women sitting around a table in a meeting

The general perception amongst many people in the current environment is that immigration is a huge burden on the economy. Opponents of immigration often argue that tens of millions of dollars are spent on services provided to new migrants when this money could be better spent elsewhere.

However, something that is commonly overlooked in this debate is the hard evidence that migrants contribute significantly to the Australian economy. 

Research conducted by EY Sweeney in 2017 on behalf of insurance giant CGU, found that migrants contributed immensely to the Australian economy and labour force, in particular small business. Here are some of the findings: 

  • Small businesses accounts for 45% of all private sector employment in Australia.

  • 33% of all small businesses in Australia are owned by migrants.

  • 83% of migrant business owners had never owned a business prior to arriving in Australia.

  • More than half of Australia’s migrant business owners have a bachelor degree or higher.

  • A significant proportion of migrant owned businesses provide unique goods and services (37%) or provide training to young people (25%).

Australia’s population is forecast to hit 38 million by 2050, and migration is expected to contribute $1.6 trillion to Australia’s GDP.

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Source: CGU Migrant Small Business Report