Beyond the Hype: Insights into Entrepreneurial Life in Australia

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Much of the hype around entrepreneurship today focuses on ‘hero entrepreneurs’ – the stereotypical image of Virgin founder Richard Branson and his extroverted, risk-taking personality. Yet this picture doesn’t accurately reflect day-to-day life as an entrepreneur. It doesn’t tell us about the way ideas are born or the networks, systems and skills – not to mention plain luck – on the road to success. The aim of this project was to provide insights into the entrepreneurial ecosystem by unmasking the day-to-day realities of being an entrepreneur in Australia today. The research busts the myth that entrepreneurs succeed because of inherent personality traits – because they are born that way. This research focuses instead on the impact of ‘incubators’, the genesis of entrepreneurial ideas, the common patterns of learning and skill development, and the variety of pathways that can lead someone to being dubbed an entrepreneur. Encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship will be vital to the next wave of economic growth, now that the commodity prices boom is over. We need a deeper understanding of the role of entrepreneurs in technological change and innovation, but as importantly, the realities of entrepreneurial life in Australia.
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