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Study: Maori Third Most Entrepreneurial People


Largest-ever survey of indigenous entrepreneurship now available

Study Confirms Maori Are World's Third Most Entrepreneurial People

New research drills deeply into Maori entrepreneurial personality

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Aotearoa New Zealand 2005 has now been released. The report is available for download at

“GEM Aotearoa New Zealand is the largest study of indigenous entrepreneurship ever undertaken and represents another milestone in our journey to better understand the characteristics and determinants of Maori entrepreneurial activity and entrepreneurship in general”, according to Professor Whatarangi Winiata, Tumuaki of Te Wananga o Raukawa and President of the Maori Party.

Ernst & Young’s 2003 Entrepreneur of the Year Caron Taurima says, “This Report is valuable to entrepreneurs because it highlight lessons learnt by others”.

GEM Aotearoa was sponsored this year by the Te Puni Kokiri / Ministry of Maori Development and was carried out by a team of researchers at Te Whare Wänanga o Wairaka (Unitec New Zealand) in Mt. Albert, Auckland, and Te Wänanga o Raukawa in Otaki under the leadership of Professor Howard Frederick.

GEM is headquartered at London Business School and Babson College in the United States. GEM New Zealand has resided at Unitec New Zealand since 2000.

This year the team surveyed a representative sample of Maori and the general New Zealand population to make comparisons with 35 countries.

The Report will be presented at the powhiri and launch of the International Entrepreneurship Research Exchange to be attended by more than 200 scholars from 35 countries on the Unitec campus February 7-10. Conference programme information is available at The powhiri begins at 4pm and the press conference at 5pm on February 7. Use Entry 4 off Carrington Road. Maori Television presenter Ella Henry will give the keynote address.

Findings in brief

The report is available for download at

- In terms of Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity, Aotearoa (Maori New Zealanders) at 17.7% and New Zealand at 17.6% were surpassed globally only by two other countries (Thailand and Venezuela).

- About 83% of Maori entrepreneurs are opportunity entrepreneurs, a value comparable to Canada, Austria, and the United States.

- About 25.0% of Maori versus 13.1% of the general population say they expect to launch a start-up in the next three years.

- Maori are great starters-up of business, but only 37% of Maori entrepreneurial start-ups survive three-and-a-half years compared to 62% in the general population.

- Maori entrepreneurs between 35-44 years old have some of the highest TEA rates globally recorded in the GEM survey. About one in three Maori between 35-44 years of age is a business entrepreneur.

- For New Zealanders, both Maori and non-Maori, wealth creation is not as important as is independence. Maori have twice as many independence-driven entrepreneurs as wealth-driven entrepreneurs.

- The typical New Zealand entrepreneur is an opportunity-based lifestyle entrepreneur, opting for work-life balance rather than wealth creation.

- Maori are not technology-shy. 18% of Maori entrepreneurs claim to be using the very latest technology compared to 10% of the New Zealand general population of entrepreneurs.

- Maori also have much higher growth expectations. 12.3% of Maori entrepreneurs believe they will create 20 jobs in five years compared to 8.1% of the general population.

- Maori women have the world’s third highest opportunity entrepreneurship rate and only a moderate rate of necessity entrepreneurship.

- Maori have highest informal investment rate in the OECD and double the rate of informal investment of other GEM nations.

- More Maori (71.3%) than other New Zealanders (60.5%) say that starting a business is a good career choice.

The report is available for download at


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