First published 10 March 2020

GEM Australia is conducted by QUT Business School’s Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research (ACE).



ACE Innovation Metrics Research Fellow and Team Lead for GEM Australia, Dr Char-lee Moyle, said intrapreneurs were entrepreneurial employees who identified, developed and pursued new business activities as part of their employment.

“The GEM survey found that 8.3 per cent of Australian adults aged 18 to 65 years – around 1.4 million people - are involved in employer-sponsored entrepreneurship up from 7.8 per cent in 2017,” said Dr Moyle (below right).

“The GEM Australian Population Survey (APS) identifies entrepreneurial employees who are leading the creation of new business activities in their organisation. This includes a broad range of activities, such as developing or launching new goods or services, or setting up a new business unit, a new establishment or a subsidiary for their main employer.”

The latest report also found Australia ranked 27th equal out of the 50 countries surveyed for early stage entrepreneurial activity and 29th for established business ownership rate. Australia ranks 9th on ease of starting a business, but 34th on entrepreneurial intentions.

Dr Moyle indicated that the intrapreneurial results are encouraging but reflected a growing fear of failure and risk aversion in Australia likely associated with economic uncertainty. This is resulting in people being increasingly intrapreneurial, rather than entrepreneurial.

GEM is the world’s largest study of entrepreneurship. The GEM Consortium consists of national teams each using the same precise research methodology, sample design and survey tools to collect nationally representative data on entrepreneurship.

“For Australia, this year we sampled 2,000 Australian residents over the age of 18 years using computer assisted telephone interviewing for the global report,” Dr Moyle said.

“We undertook two national surveys required by GEM reporting: the Adult Population Survey (APS) and the National Expert Survey (NES).

“The APS asks a nationally representative sample of at least 2,000 working-age adults (often more: in 2019, the average sample size was just over 3,000) in each participating country, about their entrepreneurial activities, attitudes, motivations and ambitions, using the same standard GEM questionnaire.

“The National Expert Survey asks each country’s experts to assess the national environment for entrepreneurship in terms of 12 GEM-defined framework conditions.”

Learn more about GEM Australia on the website of QUT’s Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research

Media contact:

Amanda Weaver, QUT Media, 07 3138 3151,

After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901,



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