Entrepreneurship drives job creation, innovation, and economic growth, in NSW as elsewhere. But entrepreneurs take big risks and face big challenges when they start and grow businesses. A supportive innovation ecosystem can help startup founders and teams to lower their risks and overcome the challenges of creating a sustainable and scalable business.
Key entities that scaffold and directly support these entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses are coworking spaces, accelerators, incubators, and startup hubs – what we refer to as CAISH entities.
Accelerating NSW is the first comprehensive mapping of all NSW’s CAISH entities, drawing on 64 in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs and CAISH managers and featuring 27 CAISH case studies. The report:
- maps CAISH entities’ growing role in the economy
- shows CAISH entities are expanding in both Sydney and the regions
- identifies a growing number of entities specialising in industries or technologies or supporting specific client groups
- highlights the CAISH entity services valued by entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses
- presents a holistic CAISH impact measurement framework.
Key report findings:
- NSW is home to Australia’s largest population of CAISH entities, where the number of CAISH entities has risen from 65 in 2013 to 276 entities in 2023.
- While CAISH entities are expanding in both Sydney and the regions, some regional and rural areas remain underserved.
- A growing number of CAISH entities specialise in industries or technologies or support specific client groups and provide increasingly tailored support. But there are limited CAISH entities in NSW explicitly focused on First Nations entrepreneurs and more could be done to create a startup culture in high schools.
- Better measurement of impact is possible.