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Entrepreneur group sends open letter to politicians promoting a manifesto supporting their sector

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Entrepreneur group sends open letter to politicians promoting a manifesto supporting their sector

An organisation representing entrepreneurs wants the principles of economic initiative to be taught in schools from a young age.

It says this would help spread an entrepreneurial mindset through the community. 

And there should be changes at the other end of the educational spectrum, to make better use of potentially valuable discoveries by university academics. 

These are among 25 recommendations contained in an Entrepreneurship Manifesto being presented to politicians. 

It was put together by an organisation called GEN NZ, which is the local branch of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN).

GEN operates in 200 countries with the aim of making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale up a business. 

GEN NZ wants the same thing to happen here and so is writing to politicians across the spectrum seeking support. 

On teaching enterprise in schools, GEN NZ wants to build entrepreneurial talents by including experiential learning from an early age in a revised curriculum. 

In the tertiary sector, GEN NZ says the potential of academic research is often missed. 

So, there should be rewards via science funding allocations to encourage potential commercial outcomes of scientific discoveries. And more independence for researchers is recommended.  

"There should be fully funded, embedded, incubation programmes within at least one university in each region that have a degree of autonomy from university bureaucracy," the manifesto reads. 

Other parts of the manifesto say the Government should use entrepreneurial methods within its own administration. It should also spread cutting-edge systems beyond big city tech companies to New Zealand's regions.  

And there should be improved immigration processes with less red tape to encourage immigration by people with entrepreneurial flair. 

And as an offshoot of this, there should be strong connectivity with international developments. 

Meanwhile, GEN NZ is rejecting any suggestion that issuing a political manifesto conflicts with the essential nature of entrepreneurship.

After all, entrepreneurs are risk-takers by definition - they set up new enterprises with or without state support, and so do not need political approval.  

But GEN NZ chairperson, Dave Moskovitz, says there is more to it than that.

"There are things the Government could do that would make entrepreneurship a lot easier," he says.

"Helping our tamariki learn entrepreneurial skills at a very early age can practically guarantee that in future we will be competitive."

Moskovitz says children are inherently curious and this should be made the most of.  

"I am talking about pre-school and primary school kids learning how to take managed risks and to validate assumptions and to explore the world around them.

"When kids are little, they are always asking why, why, why, and that is wonderful, we should be encouraging that, but somehow we miss that opportunity. We don't really have that as part of our formal education system."

Moskovitz goes on to say companies set up by entrepreneurs often have a low environmental impact compared with traditional companies, and this is another plus for entrepreneurship.   

The current Government is not too worried about this issue. It thinks entrepreneurs already have official encouragement. 

The issues raised by GEN NZ were put to a Government Minister, Duncan Webb. He is Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and Minister of State Owned Enterprises, and he thinks the system is quite well set up right now. 

"By international standards, we have an extremely high ease-of-doing-business rating," he says.

"I think we have low regulatory thresholds for entering business, we have great tax incentives around research and development. 

"I think we are a really business-friendly country and really want to drive a productive economy." 

It is frequently argued that the tech sector is shooting ahead in leaps and bounds anyway.  The latest annual report of the umbrella body, NZTech, gives a snapshot of the current situation. It says the sector contributes $20 billion to New Zealand's GDP and employs 118,000 people, among a range of other statistics.    

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'via science funding allocations to encourage potential commercial outcomes'

Shade of the Joyce years; theft of the Commons by any other name. But there is a problem here; growth is the human existential problem, and we are in gross overshoot ALREADY. The correct journalistic approach, therefore, was to ask (the correct word is indeed WHY?) why this initiative? I suggest it has the same underlying reason as the Thatcher/Reagan/Douglas moves  generation ago; growth has hit limits and is now a cancer on the body. We see that in different ways, but commercialisation of what was Commons is a major one, theft from the poor by the rich (the temporary rich, given the stage the human trajectory is at) an obvious other.

We do indeed need to address education:…


Good idea, look how many Americans start up companies, they have that Entrepreneurial mindset, and it's why they have so many of the most profitable companies in the world, and not just companies that are rich from pulling things out of the ground, tech companies worth billions that have created everything they have from nothing.

Much better than confusing them by teaching them myths like they are real things that have happened, and then calling it science.


I'm intrigued. What myths are being called science?


Here's one:

'tech companies worth billions that have created everything they have from nothing'

Actually, those 'billions' all expect to purchase something real - a house, a car, a trip, a coffee - so they weren't 'created out of nothing'; they merely added to the either the number of folk lining up to buy resources and energy, or to the amount of proxy those folk are waving at the Bookies.

Not to mention the coal-powered server-farms euphemistically called 'the cloud'...


'billions' all expect to purchase something real - a house, a car, a trip, a coffee - so they weren't 'created out of nothing';"

Flawed logic, what you spend money on has nothing to do with what you created it with.

Wealth and earnings needs to be generated in some way, if you want to pay for schools, hospitals, government, roads, public transport etc.

If you're a country that has little to offer to sell yourself, but still wants to buy and pay for all the things you need, then you're in trouble, the income needs to come from somewhere.

The more money you can generate, then there is more options available to you in terms of moving to green energy etc.

Having people that are motivated and entrepreneur goes a long way to having a successful economy that can pay for all that stuff.

Or we could continue down the road we are on now, where the being unmotivated is rewarded, and welfare dependency is encouraged, and even in times of very low unemployment we have a massive increase in the overall numbers of people on benefits.

What a total failure.



' The more money you can generate, then there is more options available to you in terms of moving to green energy etc.

 Try landing on a deserted island with a suitcase full of cash.

Me, I'd be looking to gather coconuts, do a little fishing. You? You'd pay? ????????? for ?????????



Well done in coming up with a totally irrelevant "argument".


You’re wasting your time philphy.. pdk only deals in ideological thinking. It’s for the people in the real world to actually earn the money whilst he plays on his little island with his coconuts 




Never heard this mentioned in the news before? where have you been the last few years?

it's getting so ridiculous that even professor  Richard Dawkins has wade into it.

That's a good basis for your google search on it, should you want to enlighten yourself on it.


Great idea but this would take a change of Govt to implement.

Labour Party and Entrepreneurship are diametrically opposed.

Labour Party and welfare on the other hand fit nicely together.


And ACT want to slash R&D funding, and 7-house Luxon wants to change the tax settings on residential property back to what they were so it can suck more capital into unproductive assets.