Passion drives the world’s entrepreneurs to contribute more than US$8.3 trillion to the global after-hours economy

Business-owners have sacrificed love, family and fun for their dream business ideas

The world’s small and medium business owners have contributed US$8.3 trillion to the global economy by working beyond the standard industry hours for their businesses, according to a new global survey by Sage.

But this contribution comes at a price. Nearly half (46%) of all global business owners work over 40 hours a week. German entrepreneurs are working particularly hard, with 57% working more than 40 hours every week. Australian business owners are achieving a better work-life balance, with 31% saying they are working more than 40 hours a week.

The survey by Sage, the market leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, highlights the true sacrifices made by entrepreneurs around the world.

Over a third (36%) of those surveyed say they have sacrificed family time for their businesses. That figure was particularly high in South Africa, where 44% of business owners have chosen their work over their family. Globally, 44% of business owners say that their dedication to their enterprise has affected their relationships.

Perhaps as a result of their long working weeks, over half (52%) of German small business owners have cancelled a date because of work. This is particularly high compared with the global average of 27%.

The survey highlights the human sacrifice made by small and medium business owners to power the global economy. Over half of all business owners (66%) say the extra hours are worth it. More than a third (41%) are driven by the love of what they do, whilst 38% say they are motivated by the sense of achievement. Particularly motivated are entrepreneurs in South Africa, where 51% say they are motivated by the love of their business, with 59% motivated by the sense of achievement.

Stephen Kelly, CEO of Sage comments: ‘We know it takes hard work and human sacrifice to turn a dream business idea into a way of life. This survey highlights the extent of that commitment. It is the entrepreneurial spirit that makes the difference all over the world, and the contribution of these businesses that powers the global economy. We should do all we can to support these heroes and recognise all those hours of hard work they are putting in after the rest of the world has gone home’.

Adds Ivan Epstein, President of Sage International: “We’re seeing a surge of entrepreneurial energy throughout Africa, with many people starting out on their own to build businesses that serve the community, create jobs, and catalyse prosperity for their wider societies. Sometimes, this demands great personal and financial sacrifice on their part.

“We see these African business owners as the engines of the economy, fuelled by a passion for improving their lives and helping their communities. It is heartening to see African governments recognising just how central they are to the continent’s growth story.”

Share your small business story with Sage

The research has been launched as part of a broader campaign by Sage to recognise and celebrate the contribution small business owners make to the global economy. As part of this campaign, Sage is calling for small business owners to let it know why they do what they do, via a short video submission.

Enlist in a Sage Advice session

Sage will also be running a series of advice sessions, from November 30-December 4. Each will involve a number of Sage spokespeople, including CEO Stephen Kelly, and will address the key challenges of running a small business – as identified by the research.

To find out more about the video submission and the advice sessions, please visit:

Research methodology

The survey was conducted among 2621 BDMs in companies with under 100 employees in 11 countries.

The interviews were conducted online by Redshift Research in November 2015 using an email invitation and an online survey.

Source: Sage

This entry was posted in African News, South Africa News. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply