|Maori: the 'can-do' nation|
SUNDAY , 28 MARCH 2004 [Abridged]
Maori are increasingly enthusiastic about entering business and rank highly on the latest world entrepreneurship scale.
If Maori were a nation, it would be the fourth most entrepreneurial in the world, a global study reveals. While New Zealand holds its own in the international entrepreneurial league tables, Maori have bounded ahead as one of the world's most entrepreneurial populations.
According to the annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), Maori exceeded non-Maori in total early-stage entrepreneurial activity in 2003, with 17.1% starting a business compared with 13.3% of non-Maori. New Zealand maintained its high ranking overall, coming fifth after Chile and top among developed nations.
In the 41-country survey, Maori rank fourth behind Uganda, Venezuela and Argentina, up from seventh last year. Maori had a long history of entrepreneurship, said Howard Frederick, principal author of GEM New Zealand and innovation and entrepreneurship professor at Unitec. Evidence suggested in the late 19th century Maori owned and ran ships to Sydney and to London, he said. "Some Maori believe they have rediscovered their cunning entrepreneurial streak that may have been dulled for decades by the dole and other colonial relics."
As role models, Frederick pointed to such well-known business people as Mike Tamaki, director of Rotorua's Tamaki Maori Village, and performance artist Mika as typical of the country's Maori entrepreneurs keeping Maori, and New Zealand, high in the charts...
An "extraordinary" 83.1% of Maori women identified themselves as opportunity entrepreneurs compared with 30% of Maori males. Thus Maori women said they were more likely to set up a business because they spied an opportunity than their male and their Pakeha counterparts, said Frederick.
Compared with their fellow New Zealanders, Maori rated more of their products and services as "new and unfamiliar" to the market (39.5% compared with 32.8%). "So they are doing more things that are innovative and outside the square." [...]
The GEM 2003 report will be released tomorrow.
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