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Melbourne is one of Australia’s most vibrant cities, with a diverse, growing population that contributes to its unique culture. The mouth-watering cuisine on offer, the exceptional arts and culture scene, as well as the various opportunities for career-driven people are just a few reasons why Melbourne is such an attractive place to live and work.

For those looking to establish their own start-up or small business, Melbourne ticks a lot of boxes too. As a global city, Melbourne’s thriving business atmosphere makes it a great choice for entrepreneurs looking for a base of operations.

Here are 4 suggestions of in-demand, successful business sectors for Melbourne-based entrepreneurs to be aware of.

1. Hospitality

One of the things that Melbourne is extremely well-known for is its incredible food scene. Getting into this bustling, diverse industry could be a great option for entrepreneurs with a taste for the hospitality industry.

From Chinatown to Lygon Street and the Queen Victoria Markets, there is no shortage of amazing food on offer. If you’ve always dreamed of opening your own café, restaurant or food truck, then Melbourne has plenty of potential for outside-the-box entrepreneurs.

Something that Melbourne’s food scene does well is specialisation. Is there one signature dish your new business could become well-known for? Just look at the famous Melbourne bakery Lune, which is famous for croissants, or the delectable tiramisu from Pellergrini’s Espresso Bar. Melburnians are very proud of their city’s multiculturalism. The city is a true melting pot, and it shows in its wonderful food scene.

And don’t forget about the drinks! We love a carefully crafted cocktail or vintage wine from one of the country’s many vineyards. There’s a whole other side of hospitality to explore through the beverage and bartending sector.

Aside from food and beverage, there’s also the matter of hotel management – and take it from us, there’s nothing we’d rather spend our time in Melbourne doing than that.

2. Technology & innovation

The technology sector is growing at an astounding pace, growing 8% between 2022-2023 alone. With several well-known local and international tech companies having offices in Melbourne (including Google, Afterpay, and Microsoft), the city is fast becoming a tech hotspot.

Melbourne even has its ownInnovation Districts’, an exciting initiative that aims to drive serious investment into the economy. This area boasts 21% of Melbourne’s knowledge sector, and is also home to the central campuses of RMIT and the University of Melbourne.

The goal is to attract tech start-ups and small businesses to the area to contribute to the thriving knowledge sector, which will help to propel Melbourne forward as a global smart city. Now is a great time for tech-minded entrepreneurs to turn their eyes to Melbourne.

3. Health & wellness

There has been a distinctive trend towards healthier living in recent years. This could be driven by several factors, including that younger generations are prioritising health and wellness with a focus on preventative healthcare.

According to McKinsey’s recent research on the $1.8 trillion global health and wellness industry, people are no longer as interested in health fads or short-lived trends – they want real, science-backed results. This includes everything from understanding better nutrition to getting a good night’s sleep.

With this information in mind, health-conscious entrepreneurs could look to start a health and wellness business in Melbourne. From mindfulness and mental well-being, to running clubs and fitness training, there is growing demand for health and wellness initiatives with real results.  Combined with Melbourne’s hunger for tech businesses, a health and wellness business that also combines innovative technology could be a real game changer.

4. Financial services

Melbourne is one of the country’s major financial centres and plays a key role in the national economy. In Melbourne CBD, you’ll find the head offices of ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank, as well as prominent fintech businesses and well-established financial institutions. 

And whilst Melbourne is a large city, the concentration of financial institutions in a relatively small radius means you’ll likely find networking slightly easier than in a more spread out CBD, such as in Sydney.

If you have a background in financial services and a passion for quality customer service, starting your own finance business in Melbourne could be a great idea. Whether as a financial adviser, investment consultant, cryptocurrency specialist, or accountant, entrepreneurs with a mind for figures could find success in Melbourne.

Alternatively, fintech is a growing, lucrative business. Combining your knowledge of finances and interest in new technology could also offer profitable results.

So, we’ve discovered 4 vastly different industries that are sure to find success in the Melbourne community. But this list is by no means exhaustive. There’s also Melbourne’s exciting fashion scene to consider, its passion for the arts and media, and it’s interesting, European-inspired architecture to investigate, for those who have skill sets in totally different areas.

Once you’ve defined your niche, research which suburbs in the city have the most competition, and where you might be able to set up (and afford to pay the rent for!) your office, workspace, venue or warehouse. Before long, you’ll be a budding Melbourne business owner.

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