Workshopping with academics on small business wellbeing

We are working with academics across Australia to build an evidence base on small business mental health.

The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Branch hosted a Small Business Mental Health Workshop in Sydney on 24 October 2019.

The workshop aimed to:

  • build a small business mental health evidence base
  • increase awareness of existing research
  • encourage future research in this space

The workshop was a response to an environmental scan in early 2019 that revealed:

  • there are too few mental health services targeting awareness and prevention
  • limited support exists for businesses facing challenges such as cash flow issues, exponential growth, or insolvency
  • there aren’t enough mental health support services and resources that target small businesses

Published research currently focuses on clinical research, workplace health and safety for large enterprises, and literature on entrepreneurship. This has led to a lack of mental health information for small business.


Outcomes for the day included:

  • mapping what we know from available research
  • finding gaps in the research and building connections for future work
  • identifying ways of working together to share knowledge and expertise

We will continue to work together to better understand what works, what doesn’t work, and where best to target future funding.

A woman in front of a board. Many pieces of paper with ideas written on them are pinned on the board.
Facilitator Nova Franklin views ideas generated by attendees at the Small Business Mental Health Academic Workshop.

A woman pinning pieces of paper on a dark board. Beside the board, three attendees wait their turn to share ideas.
Small Business Mental Health Academic Workshop attendees share their ideas and knowledge.

Disclaimer: The small business function transferred to our department from the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business on 1 February 2020.

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