I found these ABS figures interesting and hopeful:
There were 1,963,907 actively trading businesses in Australia
in June 2006, up 1.3% from a year earlier,
Of these, the vast majority are small businesses based on
either their employment or turnover:
* Almost 1.9 million businesses (96% of the total) employed
less than 20 people (this figure includes 1.1 million
businesses who did not employ staff).
* Over 1.8 million businesses (94% of the total) had annual
turnover of less then $2 million.
Close to two-thirds (65%)
of businesses operating in 2003 were still operating three
years later. Of the businesses which did not survive, 43%
exited during 2003-04, 33% during 2004-05, and the remaining
24% during 2005-06.