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Newcastle's small business sector set to boom

11 December 2017

Entrepreneurialism boom as local businesses embrace the service economy

New research by leading KPMG Demographer, Bernard Salt reveals Newcastle is set to become an entrepreneurial hotspot as a result of greater connectivity and projected shift towards the growing service economy.

Commissioned by NBN Co, the Newcastle Lifestylepreneur Report reveals while the area has faced a significant shift in its employment structure since transitioning away from heavy industry, micro businesses (1-4 employees) in Newcastle have increased by five per cent in the last two years.

While Newcastle’s economy was once underpinned by steel and coal mining, the report shows emerging businesses in public administration and safety (up 26 per cent), construction (up 14 per cent) and financial services (up 13 per cent) have shown the most growth since 2014 the town embraces the service economy.

The report also identifies entrepreneurial hotspots surrounding Newcastle where micro businesses are booming with Stockton (up 30 per cent), Mt Hutton (up 20 per cent) and Edgeworth (up 18 per cent) leading the charge.

KPMG Special Advisor and Demographer, Bernard Salt said:

“While Newcastle’s ‘steel days’ might be over, there is an entrepreneurial spirit igniting new business formation as the region adopts the growing service economy.

“Starting a business in a city like Newcastle offers all of the benefits of a big city coupled with lifestyle opportunities without the expense and congestion often found in areas like Sydney.

“I anticipate connectivity via the nbn™ access network will continue to play a part in the recovery and reinvention of modern and entrepreneurial Newcastle as businesses will be able to connect and collaborate across the country and world without having to leave.”

Head of nbn™ local New South Wales, Amber Dornbusch 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 Newcastle we are seeing local businesses maximise their productivity and improve their work-life balance by embracing new technology.”

Chief Executive Officer and Founder of SwitchDin, Andrew Mears said:

“Access to fast broadband is crucial for every aspect of our solar software business. From client video conferencing to administration tasks, the nbn™ access network enables us to provide services across Australia without having to leave Newcastle.

“Founding the business in Newcastle made perfect sense for us – we get the benefits of a beachside lifestyle, vibrant start-up community and access to technology without the costs associated with living in Sydney.”

The rollout of the nbn™ access network is almost complete in Newcastle with more than 81,000 homes and businesses able to connect to services over the new network through their preferred phone or internet provider.

Visit NBN Co’s website to learn more about what you need to know before connecting your business to the nbn™ broadband access network as well as how to get the best experience out of your internet connection.  


About NBN Co:

  • NBN Co is building a new and upgraded, fast wholesale broadband network to enable communities across Australia to access fast broadband from their retail service provider. Our goal is to connect eight million homes and businesses by 2020.
  • The rollout of the nbn™ access network sets the scene for the biggest transformation to Australia’s telecommunications industry involving retail service provider network upgrades and the establishment of a network of networks to bring fast broadband to all Australians. 
  • Connecting to the nbn™ access network is not automatic and is a process which may take some time and preparation. NBN Co is working with the service providers and industry to help them better understand who is responsible for which portions of their internet experience and what steps they can take in order to receive the best possible service.
  • The speeds experienced on services over the nbn™ access network are determined by a range of factors such as the technology used to deliver the network as well as some factors outside our control like equipment quality, software, broadband plans, signal reception and how your service provider designs their network.
  • Fast broadband like that delivered via the nbn™ access network can provide a range of benefits for Australians such as opportunities to work from home, access to online education tools and options for on-demand entertainment. 

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