What is a true “business community”? When you search for business community on Google, a wide variety of results are returned. Some of them are current affairs that affect the business community; others offer advice and insights to help business owners overcome obstacles. The only common thread that is shown is that business community is used to loosely define a group of like-minded individuals that represent the business sector.

The term business community has been widely used by the media to categorise the business sector in an easily digestible way. This can be considered as positive as it gives the business community a podium to speak from about issues that affect them, however it doesn’t really lead to the true meaning of the ‘community’, or why it is important.

Being a part of the business community is to be a member of a vibrant part of society that offers a place for support and advice. As a member of the business community there are many great ways you can become an active participant. You can join an industry body, attend networking events or participate in LinkedIn discussions. Through actively participating, you can help strengthen your networks, leading to further opportunities that can assist with your long-term business goals. It’s also a strong platform to offer mentorship to others who need guidance.

Of course, activity is one part of what the ‘business community’ means, so is influence. When a group of individuals come together, particularly from the business sector – they have the opportunity to influence. The business community is able to form a united front and voice their concerns when issues arise. An example of a unity can be seen in recent debates over the parent levy that was to be applied to 3000 of the country’s largest employer for the now shelved Paid Parental Leave Scheme (PPL). Being a part of this community allows for you to be influential. In a country like Australia that is relatively prosperous, the business community plays a key-role in forming policy and procedures that directly affect its growth and operation. To have a direct connection on how policy is formed is one of the great benefits of the business community, which has seen the PPL scrapped and a 1.5% taxation cut to small business implemented, based on feedback from the business community.

In Australia, the business community has started to take shape. It’s a place of support and insight that allows members to actively engage and grow; a great example of this is Flying Solo, which provides advice and support to community members to help grow their business.
It is also a place where it’s members have a direct influence on how it operates. Aside from this, there is a shared connection between it’s members. Regardless of which industry you’re in, the business community has a shared experience of innovation and growth across many areas. It only takes a short examination to view the various ways that the business community harbours innovation and growth, whether that is through conferences like the Better Business Summit, established networks like Business Chicks, or news and insights on LinkedIn featured through the ‘Pulse’. All these networks, events, and pieces allow for the business community to share the experience of innovation and growth.

Business owners alike have all disrupted industries in one way or another, they have all had issues with business models. The underlying truth of the shared experience comes from a want to trade and add value in any given industry. Businesses are built on trade whether that is: money, services, labour or knowledge, trade is the underlying thread that sews that binds the business community together. This ability allows for innovative solutions to take place that challenge and disrupt industry practice.

The business community can be hard to define because of it’s members coming from many different industries. My observations define the business community as a unique place where members are active participants sharing insights and advice to like-minded others. It is also a place of influence that has the great ability to directly affect the policy that defines how it operates. To be part of the business community also means to engage in trade and add value to your given industry. It offers the opportunity to be included in one of the most dynamic group of individuals in the country, and to be active in a network of pioneers that shape our future.