News & Information

Call for papers Freelancers and Independent Contractors Special Issue

Papers are invited for this special issue of Small Enterprise Researchdevoted to Freelancers and Independent Contractors. 

Special Issue Editors: Dr Tui McKeown and Dr Robyn Chochrane, Monash University Australia.

The world of work has seen the downsizing and outsourcing of work that once took place as part of a conventional employer-employee relationship. However, today there are a significant number of self-employed independent contractors or 'freelancers' working with and within organisations. The concept of a 'freelancer' remains vaguely defined in law and poorly understood within the academic literature. Definition of this type of micro-enterprise is also poor with the word 'freelancer' used in conjunction with 'independent contractor' and other terms. This special issue seeks to understand the nature, characteristics, contributions and challenges facing the freelancer. It also seeks to identify current research activity and directions for future research into this important and growing form of small business.

Growing the global economy through small to medium enterprise: The G20 SME conference

The G20 SME Conference was marked by a lot of passion and ideas sharing. Arzeni’s address was indeed passionate. His call for Australia to use the G20 Leaders’ Summit to drive action to help build best practice in small business policy is a challenge that Prime Minister Tony Abbott should not ignore. So too is his call for smarter rather than less regulation.

Muppets versus gazelles podcast

Professor Tim Mazzarol talks to Tom Murrell from the UWA Graduate Management Association about the small business sector and how to enhance employment, innovation and business growth by targeting the average small firm rather than the start-ups or the "gazelles".

Is commercialising Australia’s research an insurmountable challenge?

The quality of research undertaken within Australia’s university sector is not in question. Where the challenge lies is in bridging the divide between the academic and industry communities. This will require a change of mindset on both sides. It will also require an adjustment to the way in which academics are rewarded and how they and their institutions perceive their role within the national economy.

If we only had 100 businesses...

If Australia only had 100 businesses only one would be large, another three would be a government department and two not-for-profits, a further six would be small to medium sized firms and the remaining 90 would be micros, most of which would have only the owner as an employee.

Source: ASBC Blog
Is there any alternative to developing an innovation-driven economy?

Australia’s long term international competitiveness will depend on its ability to develop an ‘innovation-driven’ economy. This is an economy built on high-value added, R&D intensive, high-tech industries. Australia is already regarded as having an innovation-driven economy. However, there is no room for complacency and it is not something that should be taken for granted. If Australia cannot keep its economy moving in this direction the only alternative is to fall back onto being either a ‘factor’ or ‘efficiency’ driven economy.

Does it matter if Australia no longer manufactures things?

Over the longer term there is a need for Australia to reinvent its approach to manufacturing. It seems that our economy’s ability to maintain sustained economic growth may depend on how we rebuild and refocus our approach to manufacturing. If the economic analysis cited above is correct, the Australian economy cannot maintain long term growth and high living standards on the back of agriculture, mining and services alone. Manufacturing still matters.

Entrepreneurship education and research within Australia’s universities

In 2014 the majority of Australia’s 39 universities were offering courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Around 33% were offering postgraduate degree programs in these subjects, and around 18% had full undergraduate degree programs. There were also 8 university-based centres that specialised in entrepreneurship. Several universities also had research clusters that focused on entrepreneurship, innovation and/or small business management.

Call for Papers - Special Edition "Furthering a gendered understanding of social entrepreneurship
Much existing research has focused on women collectively as targets of social entrepreneurship (for example, in the context of microenterprise in the developing world) rather than as individual agents of social change. However, recent work has sought to evidence other patterns in respect to female participation in social entrepreneurship.Interested authors should, in the first instance, submit a short abstract to the Guest Editors: Kate Lewis ( and Alex Nicholls ( by 1 March 2014. Full
papers will be due by 1 August 2014.
The role of co-operative enterprise in Australian agribusiness

The co-operative enterprise continues to offer benefits to Australia’s farmers just as they still do across most other countries which compete with us within global food supply chains. They have a different overall purpose to investor-owned firms and this “co-operative difference” revolves around the fact that they are owned by their members who also supply to and buy from them. They also operate with a highly democratic governance model in which it is not possible for a small number of shareholders to take control of the company.