Monday, 16 October 2017 03:12

NBN: South Australian start-ups seeing connectivity growth spurts

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Connectivity is spurring South Australia's start-up culture, with new research by demographer Bernard Salt pointing to entrepreneurialism booming "as local business embrace the service economy".

South Australian start-ups are showing a spurt of growth due to the greater connectivity, helping transform pockets of urban and regional South Australia into entrepreneurial hotspots, leading to a "projected shift towards the growing service economy".

The news comes via a new, detailed, nine-page report commissioned by NBN Co, dubbed the "South Australian Lifestylepreneur Report" (PDF link) which reveals that "while the state has faced a significant change to its employment structure after the manufacturing boom, some areas are showing steady entrepreneurial growth in pockets such as Toorak Gardens (up 8.4%), Goodwood (up 5.4%) and Adelaide CBD (up 3.6%)".

We're told the research also identifies "a new wave of 'lifestylepreneurs" embracing digital technologies to expand in to in lifestyle areas outside of the city with Seaford (up 19%), Murray Bridge (9.7%) and McLaren Vale (up 6.7%) leading the start-up charge".

Of course, getting enough electricity to power your NBN connection during heat waves will be something South Australians will be carefully watching this summer, but while the car-manufacturing industry once underpinned South Australia’s economy, the report shows "emerging businesses in finance, real estate and professional service industries have shown the greatest uplift since 2015 as the state embraces the growing service economy".

KPMG special adviser and demographer Bernard Salt said:

“South Australia is becoming a popular state for small businesses largely underpinned by affordable housing, a vibrant food and wine culture and increased connectivity via the NBN Co broadband access network.

“While Adelaide had its start in retail and manufacturing, local businesses have had to adapt and respond in an age of digital disruption. We’re now seeing an entrepreneurial agility across Adelaide as small businesses tap in to the service sector.

“Lifestyle towns removed from the city are also experiencing a surge in baby boomers looking to reinvent themselves or young start-ups pursuing a better quality of life, affordability, and vibrant business community.”

NBN Co local manager for South Australia Chris Gregory said:

“Job growth, innovation and opportunity are no longer restricted to businesses within the major cities as fast broadband provides small and medium businesses similar access to their big city counterparts.

“As the rollout of the NBN access network ramps up in South Australia we are seeing local businesses maximise their productivity and improve their work-life balance by embracing new technology.” 

Owner of co-working space Little City Prospect David Menner said:

“Little City is a shared co-working space made up of almost 20 different start-ups from builders, lawyers, accountants and web developers.

“While many local business owners live nearby, others come from right across the state to use the space and enjoy proximity to local cafes, access to fast broadband and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs.

“The NBN access network is vital for businesses here relying on applications such as video conferencing and cloud-based applications to connect and collaborate with clients across the country.”

The rollout of the NBN access network is more than halfway complete in South Australia with half a million homes and businesses across the state now able to connect to the network through their preferred phone or Internet provider.

Construction work to build the network is also underway for an additional 80,000 homes and businesses in parts of in parts of Brighton, Port Adelaide, Elizabeth and the Adelaide CBD.

Here's an infographic of Adelaide’s entrepreneurial hotspots:

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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