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Connectivity spurring South Australian start-up culture

11 October 2017

Entrepreneurialism boom as local businesses embrace the service economy

New research by leading KPMG Demographer, Bernard Salt reveals pockets of urban and regional South Australia are set to become entrepreneurial hotspots as a result of greater connectivity and a projected shift towards the growing service economy.

Commissioned by nbn, the South Australian Lifestylepreneur Report reveals 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 per cent), Goodwood (up 5.4 per cent) and Adelaide CBD (up 3.6 per cent).

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 per cent), Murray Bridge (9.7 per cent) and McLaren Vale (up 6.7 per cent) leading the start-up charge.             

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 Advisor 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 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™ 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.


Adelaide’s entrepreneurial hotspots


Visit the nbn 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.  


Questions to ask before connecting your business to the nbn™ access network:

  • What business products are offered?
  • Which service providers are available to me?
  • How much data do I need?
  • Will my existing services be affected?
  • Will my devices be compatible?


Notes to editors

About nbn:

  • nbn 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 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.

Media enquiries

Talia Spink

Phone: 0488 902 436


nbn Media Hotline

Phone: 02 9927 4200


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