Business and Commerce

Sector Snapshot


4.7 million

people employed by small business



of employees hold post-school qualifications



of all Australian business are small businesses

The industry

Business and commerce are a big part of the Australian economy and way of life.

Many Australians run small businesses in sectors as diverse as hospitality and construction.

In fact, owning a small business is one of the great australian dreams.

Meanwhile, many Australians work in business and commerce roles in large companies, government, or not-for-profit organisations.

Such roles cover accounting, banking, marketing, insurance, finance, and management.

The workers

In 2019, small businesses of less than 20 employees accounted for over 97 per cent of all Australian businesses.

Of these small businesses, 63 per cent were sole traders, 25 per cent were micro-businesses employing four people or less, while the remaining 9 per cent employed 5-19 people.

This makes small business Australia's biggest employer--with a total of 4.7 million workers.

Apart from small business, the finance and insurance sector is a large employing industry related to business and commerce.

Workers in finance and insurance jobs are a highly qualified group of the Australian workforce.

In this field, 80 per cent of workers hold post-school qualifications compared with 68 per cent across all industries.

To break this down, 53 per cent of workers in finance and insurance have a Bachelors degree or higher, and 24 per cent have a Certificate III or higher VET qualification.

Only 20 per cent have no post-school qualifications. Most of these are bank workers--one of the few finance workforce subsectors that is in decline.

Most workers in top employing finance and insurance occupations are female.

The future of business and commerce

While the quantity and scale of small business in Australia is impressive, it’s also unique internationally.

Thanks to Australian policies and incentives, our country has a robust environment for small businesses compared to other countries.

Despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, state and federal governments are helping small businesses to recover and continue to thrive.

To name just a few government initiatives, some supportive programs include Business Resilience Package, Small Business Digital Adaptation Program, and The Entrepreneur and New Business (ENB) Development Program.

Due to the increase in internet banking and automated processes, banks are scaling back their spending on bank workers.

This will result in short term job losses, but the increase in finance and insurance jobs will provide alternative opportunities for the workforce.


Many occupations in business and commerce are expected to demonstrate strong or very strong future growth.

These include careers in accounting, finance, and marketing.

While there are still plenty of bankworkers across the country, this occupation is in decline.

Roles in business and commerce include:

  • Bookkeeper
  • Accountant
  • Advertising and Marketing Professional
  • Finance Manager
  • Accounting Clerk
  • Administrative Officer
  • Other Manager

Most financial and insurance services jobs are in Sydney and Melbourne.


Many jobs in business and commerce require some form of post-secondary qualifications.

At the same time, the highly skilled nature of finance and insurance employees creates a competitive jobs market.

In these roles, qualifications can make or break your job application success.

Box Hill Institute offers 16 accredited courses in business and commerce that prepare students for the world of work. 

“I teach so that I can impact students from all walks of life, imparting lessons and especially knowledge that will help prepare them for the future.”

- Tarek Mostafa, Commerce Teacher at Box Hill Institute.

Our courses include bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, VET, and short courses.

Many of our VET courses are funded through JobTrainer.

Two of our VET courses are Free Priority Courses—the Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping and the Diploma of Accounting.

Explore Business and Commerce