Cairns is a key economic hub in northern Australia.  The city’s proximity and connectedness to all major Australian and Asian cities makes it ideally positioned for doing business nationally and globally.

The city’s business community has a strong spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, and Cairns is emerging as fertile ground for new ventures. It has some 13,000 locally-owned businesses and one start-up for every 5300 residents – a higher per capita rate than South East Queensland.Cairns regional council

In his recent report for NBN Business, The Cairns lifestylepreneur movement, leading Australian demographer Bernard Salt observed that “Cairns and FNQ have not just a rich heritage of small business activity but a remarkably resilient SME culture as well… proudly independent Cairns is doing it better than most.”

Cairns is indeed a city that punches above its weight when it comes to the small and medium business sector.

Local businesses exhibit unique, world-class and award-winning capabilities in fields as diverse as vehicle and construction technologies to tourism experiences, online apps to food manufacturing and healthcare solutions.

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning is proud of Council’s strong commitment to fostering entrepreneurial spirit.

“We initiated the Tropical North Queensland Innovation Awards to celebrate those who pursue new ideas and processes,” he said.

“The awards provide a forum for local entrepreneurs to promote their products, concepts and strength in innovation to potential investors, business partners and consumers.”

Cairns is also leading the rise of the “lifestylepreneur” and the “e-change” – two phrases coined by Salt to describe the rapidly changing face of small business, particularly in desirable lifestyle-oriented regional centres.

For northern Australian communities like Cairns, business growth is increasingly being driven by lifestyle desires and enabled by new technologies.  Entrepreneurs are reaping the benefits of being able to choose a world-class lifestyle location without sacrificing the needs of their business.

Northern Australia’s vast expanses are no longer a barrier to entrepreneurs being able to re-invent, revolutionise, renew and succeed.

Cairns Regional Council is currently attending the 2017 Developing Northern Australia Conference. 

Follow #DEVNTH on Twitter to keep up to date with conference news, photos and insights.