Member Profile

A First 5000 Member is an Australian owned commercial/business enterprise which typically:

Employs between 20 and 199 people
Reports a turnover above $10 million a year
Enjoys annual growth rates of 15% and over
Has been in operation for 6-10 years or more
Highly innovative
Trades internationally

The Australian SME Sector in Facts & Figures

There are an estimated 2.04 million SMEs in Australia which are responsible for employing nearly half the Australian workforce (ABS Cat. 8165.0 Counts of Australian Businesses, including entries and exit, June 2009).

Medium-sized enterprises (between 20 and 199 employees) make up 4% of all Australian actively trading businesses and contribute 25.3% to the Australian industry revenue (ABS Cat. 8165.0 Counts of Australian Businesses, including entries and exit, June 2009; ABS Cat. 8155.0 – Australian Industry, 2008-09)

Almost 90% of Australian exporters are SMEs. Medium sized companies (between 20 and 199 employees) account for 41% of total goods exporters. (SME Trends and Achievements: Report by CRA International for Telstra Business, Feb 2007)

Approximately two-thirds of all ASX listed companies are SMEs (ASX Newsletter, 2006).

Historically, globalised SMEs often enjoy growth rates well above the growth of national GDP; annual growth rates of over 20% are common, against an annual GDP growth of 2-4% (Globalisation and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), OECD report, 1997).

On average, medium-scale SMEs are more resilient. In 2009, the survival rates of 85.4% were registered for companies with 20-199 employees, operating since 2007 (ABS Cat. 8165.0 Counts of Australian Businesses, including entries and exit, June 2009).

Between 1997 and 2007, SMEs have provided 4 out of 5 of all the new jobs created (Small to Medium Business in Australia, Radio National, ABC 2007).