By Abdi Ali
Published November 20, 2015
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.
But, a global survey that highlights the human sacrifice made by small and medium business owners to power the global economy shows, this has come at a price: sacrificed love, family and fun.
According to Sage Software, the company that conducted the survey across 11 countries in November 2015, nearly half (46%) of all global business owners work more than 40 hours per week. German entrepreneurs work particularly harder, with 57% of them working more than 40 hours every week. Australian business owners, on the other hand, have achieved a better work-life balance, despite 31% of them saying they work more than 40 hours a week.
More than one third (36%) of those surveyed by Sage that specialises in integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, say they have sacrificed family time for their businesses. That figure is higher in South Africa, where 44% of business owners have chosen their work over their family. Globally, 44% of business owners admit their dedication to their enterprise has affected their relationships.
More than half (52%) of German small business owners have cancelled a date because of work. This is almost double the global average of 27%.
While more than half of all business owners (66%) say the extra hours are worth it and more than a third (41%) say they are driven by the love of what they do, 38% say they are motivated by the sense of achievement.
Stephen Kelly, CEO of Sage, says, “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’.
Ivan Epstein, President of Sage International, says, “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.