Business Reporter
The world’s small and medium business owners have contributed $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 percent) of all global business owners work over 40 hours a week. German entrepreneurs are working particularly hard, with 57 percent working more than 40 hours every week. Australian business owners are achieving a better work-life balance, with 31 percent 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 percent) of those surveyed say they have sacrificed family time for their businesses. That figure was particularly high in South Africa, where 44 percent of business owners have chosen their work over their family. Globally, 44 percent 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 percent) of German small business owners have cancelled a date because of work. This is particularly high compared with the global average of 27 percent.

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 percent) say the extra hours are worth it. More than a third (41 percent) are driven by the love of what they do, whilst 38 percent say they are motivated by the sense of achievement.

Particularly motivated are entrepreneurs in South Africa, where 51 percent say they are motivated by the love of their business, with 59 percent 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’s 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’re putting in after the rest of the world has gone home.”

Ivan Epstein, president of Sage International said: “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’s heartening to see African governments recognising just how central they are to the continent’s growth story.”

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