Building an eco-system that delivers significant economic impact for Australia

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Building an eco-system that delivers significant economic impact for Australia
The pandemic has drastically altered the way consumers spend money.
Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash

The opportunities afforded by digital technologies are not limited to technology-enabled companies and start-ups. They can have a positive ripple effect on the overall economy.

For businesses, digital technologies have the potential to fuel entrepreneurship, enable the development of new products, provide access to new markets, deliver efficiency and improve the bottom-line and better meet consumers’ expectations for convenience and security. The economic impact that can come from building a robust eco-system extends far beyond individual businesses, touching lives of employees, families, communities, customers, suppliers and the world.

2020 was a challenging year on many levels, with COVID-19 wreaking havoc all over the world. However, it’s also been a year that has seen a groundswell of entrepreneurial spirit among Australians. Data from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASICs), reveals that business registrations in 2020 increased 5.72% YoY compared to 2019, with a further increase likely in 2021.

The findings revealed in Shopify’s latest Economic Impact Report developed by Deloittle, indicate that our eco-system of merchants and partners has played a key role in boosting the entrepreneurial spirit or helping Australian businesses go digital. In 2020, our partner businesses have created 3.6 million jobs around the world, including 98,158 in Australia and Australian Shopify merchants generated $26B in economic impact.

There are 2.4 million actively trading businesses in the country, with 97% having fewer than 20 employees, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Small businesses account for a significant chunk of the economy – 35% of all value generated in Australia and a fifth of the nation’s gross domestic product, according to the RBA. Shopify today counts over 1.7 million businesses on its platform, with 41% being small businesses.

Technology, COVID and deregulation democratising entrepreneurship have also allowed more Aussies to ‘have a go’ and, combined with external pressures such as job loss, many people took more control of their lives by setting up their own business. This entrepreneurial awakening is what will reboot Australia’s economy post-pandemic.

On a global scale, a “Shopify Effect” rippled even further:

  • Partner businesses delivering $307+ billion in global economic impact.
  • Merchants generated $5.8 billion in revenue in developing nations.
  • $12.5 billion revenue generated by our partner ecosystem. This number is up more than 84% from $6.8B in 2019.
  • Partners collectively earned more than 4x in revenue than in 2020

Business as usual is no longer an option for a future-proofed economy. The pandemic has drastically altered the way consumers spend money and if businesses continue to adopt the profit-at-all-cost approach to business, they won’t survive the post-pandemic world. This year’s Economic Impact Report demonstrates that building a purpose-driven ecosystem that fuels the entrepreneurial economy can drive significant positive economic impact for the world.

Shaun Broughton, APAC Managing Director, Shopify.

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