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Programme Launched To Support Our Entrepreneurs

A strong enterprise culture among New Zealanders is vital to achieving the government’s target of returning this country’s real per capita income to the top half of the OECD, says Industry New Zealand Chief Executive Neil Mackay.

Mr Mackay launched the Enterprise Culture and Skills Activities programme, to be run by Industry New Zealand, at today’s (March 7) Industry New Zealand Business Breakfast at the Innovate conference in Christchurch.

He said “an enterprise culture is the foundation of an internationally competitive nation. Without that foundation all our efforts to improve our position internationally will be wasted.”

The government needed to work in partnership with business, tertiary institutions and the private sector to develop attitudes that celebrate entrepreneurship. “The government can’t make entrepreneurs,” Mr Mackay said.

The Enterprise Culture and Skills Activities programme, which has a budget of $1.7 million this financial year (until June 30), encourages skills that will turn good ideas into profitable businesses and innovative business practices.

The programme will target all sectors of New Zealand, including employers and employees, students and community groups. It will support these groups in the development of enterprising attitudes and skills.

Funding will be available in two rounds and it is expected that many of the projects will attract additional private sector funding. Applications for funding are now being sought, with the first round closing on 5 April (with successful applicants announced mid-May) and the second round closing 10 May (with successful applicants announced in late June).

The fund will be independently administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand with an independent panel of experts selecting the organisations to receive funding.

“We will work in partnership with other organisations to complement the many excellent activities already up and running,” Mr Mackay said. “These include programmes such as the Young Enterprise Scheme, the Primary Enterprise Programme and the Great New Zealand Business Venture.”

More information on the Enterprise Culture and Skills Activities programme is on the Industry New Zealand website:

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