November 19, 2015 10:02 ET

Passion Drives the World's Entrepreneurs to Contribute More Than $8.3 Trillion to the Global After-Hours Economy

Business Owners Have Sacrificed Love, Family and Fun for Their Dream Business Ideas

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - Nov 19, 2015) -  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. U.S. small and medium businesses have contributed $1.9 trillion of that $8.3 trillion.

But these contributions come 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. U.S. entrepreneurs are working more than the average, with 47 percent working 40+ hours per week. Australian business owners are achieving a better work-life balance, with 31 percent saying they are working more than 40 hours a week.

This survey by Sage, the market leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, highlights the true sacrifices made by entrepreneurs around the world.

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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 had to make the difficult decision to choose work over family.

Globally, 44 percent of business owners say that their dedication to their job has affected their relationships. Equally, 44 percent of U.S. business owners say their relationships have been affected by their dedication to their companies.

Perhaps as a result of their long work weeks, over half (52 percent) of German small business owners have canceled a date because of work. This is particularly high compared with the global average of 27 percent and U.S. average of 30 percent.

The survey highlights the sacrifices made by small and medium business owners to power the global economy. Over half of business owners globally (66 percent) and in the U.S. (68 percent) say the extra hours are worth it.

More than a third globally (41 percent) and in the U.S. (34 percent) are driven by the love of what they do, while 38 percent globally and 44 percent in the U.S. 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 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 recognize all those hours of hard work they are putting in after the rest of the world has gone home."

Connie Certusi, executive vice president at Sage North America, adds: "Like us, Sage customers are driven by a love of what they do and the sense of achievement they get from seeing their businesses succeed. We cherish our responsibility to businesses and the role we play in putting control back in the hands of the world's entrepreneurs. As a small and medium business champion and provider of innovative technology, we help businesses forget about the trivial and focus on the meaningful."

This research has been launched as part of a broader campaign by Sage to recognize and celebrate the contribution small business owners make to the global economy. As part of this campaign, Sage is calling for small business owners to share why they do what they do through a short video submission. For further details, please visit: Stephen Kelly's blog

Sage will also be running a series of online advice sessions, from November 30-December 4. Each will involve a number of Sage spokespeople, including CEO Stephen Kelly, and will address the key challenges of running a small business - as identified by the research. To find out more about these sessions, please visit: Stephen Kelly's blog

Research methodology
The survey was conducted among 2,621 business decision makers in companies with under 100 employees in 11 countries. The interviews were conducted online by Redshift Research in November 2015 using an email invitation and an online survey.

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Sage energizes the success of businesses and their communities around the world through the use of smart technology and the imagination of our people. Sage has reimagined business and brings energy, experience and technology to inspire our customers to fulfil their dreams. We work with a thriving community of entrepreneurs, business owners, tradespeople, accountants, partners and developers who drive the global economy. Sage is a FTSE 100 company with 14,000 employees in 24 countries. For more information, visit

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