Millennials mean business

New research from Commonwealth Bank of Australia has found the number of millennial small business owners is on the rise, with many young Australians turning their business ideas into a reality.

The number of new CBA Business Transaction Accounts surged 36 per cent over the past six months with Millennials (born between 1981 – 1996) driving the majority of growth.

Millennials accounted for 57 per cent of all new business accounts in the last 6 months – up from 43 per cent in 2015. Gen Z (those born from 1997) opened a further 10 per cent of new accounts.

Today, the average age of those opening a CBA Business Transaction Account today is 38 years, in comparison with 44 years in 2015.

The research also indicates the proportion of millennials running a “side hustle” has increased by 40 per cent over the past year.

Claire Roberts, Executive Group Manager of Small Business Banking said economic uncertainty had motivated many Australians – particularly millennials – to come up with business ideas and ultimately kick-start a side hustle.

“While it’s been a challenging year for many small businesses, the pandemic did present entrepreneurs with the time and opportunity to start a small business as a passion project or as an alternate source of income and we’ve seen many of our new business customers skewing younger,” Ms Roberts said.

To support business customers in their entrepreneurial endeavours, Commonwealth Bank has launched a no interest payment card for businesses.

CommBank Neo Business provides small business customers with up to $3,000 of credit, with no interest payments, no late payments and no foreign currency fees, for a fixed monthly fee. Customers will be refunded their monthly fee if they have no purchases in a month and the card balance is zero.

“A dedicated business credit card with no-interest, no late fees and no foreign currency fees, ticks the boxes for small businesses who want more flexibility with short term cash flow to make purchases for their operations,” Ms Roberts said.

“Further, the fixed monthly fee provides small business owners with some level of financial certainty, which will help with their budgeting. The CommBank Neo Business card also makes managing the books easy with the ability to automatically share spend data with accounting software.”

CommBank Neo Business customers will also be able to access cashback offers from 100+ Australian retailers through CommBank Rewards*.

Originally launched to retail customers in September 2020, CommBank Neo has seen strong uptake amongst younger customers who are looking for greater flexibility and certainty with credit products.

Thirty-year-old Melburnian Chris Sutherland who works full time in tax accounting said the pandemic was the catalyst to launch his side hustle business Ascendance Coffee – single serve coffee satchels boosted with herbal extracts.

“When lockdown happened, I was saving time on commuting and couldn’t do some of my regular social and sporting activities, so my business partners and I had more time to focus on making our business idea a reality,” Chris said.

“I love my regular job and my employer is supportive of me running my own business. The skills I learn from doing both are very complimentary.”

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