An Australian Government Initiative

Regional Development Australia

Migrants as Regional Job Creators

13 November 2018

The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) research has found that as well as filling jobs, migrants also create them by establishing their own businesses in regions.

Through the Regional Australia Institute’s Regional Research Connections Initiative, Southern Cross University (SCU) has recently completed a study of migrant business ownership and entrepreneurship in regional Australia.

This study reveals that, as a proportion of all working migrants, migrants in regions are more likely to be operating a business. This confirms that regional migration is important for business ownership and entrepreneurship, as well as building the local workforce.

Most of these regional migrant business owners are ‘small business owners’ and the study shows that this group of operators engage in are highly diverse range of industries with construction, and administrative and support services now topping the list in many regional areas. Migrant business ownership is not contained to particular industries, but follows the opportunities presented in the local economy.

Another significant finding that should reshape our view of the value of migration to regions is the fact that migrant business owners in regional areas are also more likely to employ other migrants who create businesses in major cities. Migrant business owners with employees (MBOWE) are present in many industries but most likely to be in rental, hiring, real estate, accommodation and food service.

Time spent in Australia is also key to migrant business ownership. The longer a migrant lives here, the more likely it is that they will establish a business and employ others in regional communities. This reinforces the idea that regional communities should be working hard to not only attract, but to retain migrants. They may come for a job initially, but if migrants stay in the long term, many will go on to create new local jobs.

More information is available here. The full report will be available shortly.