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Micro but Mighty: NRMA Insurance report highlights the impact of the fast-growing microbusiness sector


NRMA Insurance and the McKell Institute today launched a new report that highlights the  significant contribution of microbusinessesito the Australian economy and the community,  and the opportunities to boost the sector into the future. 

The Micro but Mighty: Magnifying Microbusiness in Australia report, commissioned by  NRMA Insurance, found that microbusinesses (which typically employee up to four people)  make up 89% of all businesses in the country and is the fastest growing sector of the small  business community. 

The microbusiness sector increased in size by 14% over the past four years to 2.28 million  businesses, employing 2.9 million Australians.  

The report examines the changing nature of microbusinesses in Australia, how the COVID  pandemic turbocharged the sector, and estimates that the economic contribution of  microbusinesses is now greater than small business. 

NRMA Insurance Chief Executive Officer Julie Batch said the report underscores the value  of microbusinesses to the nation. 

“Microbusinesses start with a passionate owner, a fantastic idea and thrive on community  support. There are incredible opportunities for this sector, not only in economic contribution  to the nation but also the positive impacts many of these businesses have within their local  communities,” Ms Batch said. 

The unique challenges for microbusiness owners identified in the report include limited  access to resources and specialist knowledge, the lack of a formal definition of  microbusiness, the ongoing threat of extreme weather and cybersecurity risks related to  operating online businesses.  

“NRMA Insurance supports more than 70,000 small business owners across the country  and we are dedicated to helping our customers overcome some of these challenges by  providing a range of insurance options and a simplified digital experience when taking out a  policy, as well as access to our specialist consultants,” continued Ms Batch. 

The report also challenges the stereotype that the sector is predominantly men operating in  trades, despite a growing proportion of women starting businesses, with the latest figures  showing 35% of Australian businesses are owned by womenii.  

NRMA Insurance is dedicated to serving communities beyond insurance and is proud to  support Mums & Co, a membership subscription and community that aims to help women  start and stay in business. 

Mums & Co Co-Founder and Managing Director Carrie Kwan said that the platform bridges  the gap between the unknowns of starting a business:

“We have an array of resources, experts to provide guidance and a digital community  specifically built to empower business-owning women so that they can develop their  business acumen, build a network and have the confidence to grow their business.” 

IAG, the parent company of NRMA Insurance, has been a longtime supporter of Mums &  Co, and recently increased its investment to wholly acquire the business. 

“The acquisition of Mums & Co was a natural progression for our business, and we are  thrilled to continue to support the platform that helps women and their supporters scale their  business. We also help business owners manage their risks by offering insurance options,”  Ms Batch said. 

Acknowledging the rising number of women entering the microbusiness sector, NSW  Minister for Women, the Hon. Jodie Harrison said: 

“Women play an essential role in the Australian business community and we are committed  to supporting more of them into entrepreneurial pathways,” Ms Harrison said. 

“The microbusiness sector is particularly advantageous for women, providing them with flexibility and opportunities that the more traditional labour market might not.”  

NRMA Insurance looks forward to working with governments at all levels to address the key  challenges and opportunities outlined in the report, to support the continued growth of  microbusinesses in Australia.  

The report’s key recommendations include: 

  • Establish a formal definition of microbusiness in Australia. 
  • Address the structural barriers which limit access to finance for women who own  microbusinesses.  
  • Create a one-stop-shop resource for microbusiness support and resources across  different levels of government. 
  • Partner with the financial sector to provide education courses for microbusinesses  that will help them grow.  
  • Provide government support that treats microbusiness as a separate category to  small business.

About NRMA Insurance 

NRMA Insurance is one of Australia’s most trusted general insurance providers, helping people  protect the things they care about since 1925. It has a long proud history of working with  communities to build their resilience against severe weather and keep people safer on the road.  

More than three million customers across Australia choose NRMA Insurance to protect their homes,  vehicles, businesses, motorcycles, boats, pets and travel. 

NRMA Insurance is backed by IAG, the largest general insurer in Australia and New Zealand. 

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