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Auckland top entrepreneurial city in survey

Auckland named top entrepreneurial city in international survey

An International study has named Auckland the most entrepreneurial city of 27 OECD cities surveyed.

The study conducted by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), based at the London Business School, shows Auckland the top city with an average of 13.5 per cent in terms of the proportion of entrepreneurs aged between 18-64 years.

Proportion of population who are entrepreneurs

Most Entrepreneurial cities %
1 Auckland 13.5
2 Vancouver 11.8
3 Melbourne 11.7
4 Los Angeles 11.5
5 New York 11.2
6 Sydney 11.2

Least Entrepreneurial cities
22 Helsinki 4.8
23 Rotterdam 4.7
24 Brussels 4.4
25 Paris 4.2
26 Milan 3.3
27 Tokyo 1.8
Vancouver was named the next best city with 11.8 per cent followed by Melbourne (11.7 per cent), Los Angeles (11.5 per cent) and New York (11.2 percent) making up the top five.
The least entrepreneurial city was Tokyo (1.8 per cent), Milan (3.3 per cent), Paris (4.2 per cent), Brussels (4.4 per cent) and Rotterdam (4.7 per cent).
The survey included 27 cities from the OECD using data from 2001-2008. While Auckland only had data from 2001 – 2005, it was still named the top city.
GEM New Zealand director and Unitec professor, Dr Howard Frederick, says there is very little variation in each country from year to year so it is "justifiable to use Auckland's data, but a lacking of funding has meant it has been unable to carry out research for the past three years".
“The survey shows Auckland still has an undisputed lead over other OECD cities when it comes to entrepreneurship,” says Dr Frederick.
Data collected each year is based on a survey of 2000 people in each country aged between 18 and 64 and uses the same stringent guidelines for each country participating.
Previous GEM research has shown high-aspiration entrepreneurs are usually linked to new product creation, job growth expectations, the “creative classes”, and the technology sector.

But this study showed only 15 percent of Auckland entrepreneurs claim they are offering new products compared to 32 per cent in Montreal, only 17 per cent of Auckland entrepreneurs expect to hire 10 employees or more within five years compared to 31 percent in Los Angeles, fewer Auckland entrepreneurs (58 percent) are part of the “creative classes” compared to 80 percent in Amsterdam, and only 13 per cent of Auckland entrepreneurs are active in the technology sector compared to 23 percent in Toronto.

“Auckland has an extraordinary number of entrepreneurs, but many of them are lifestylers not involved in high-aspiration ventures, as in other cities. This means they are more likely to start up a business from a product or service already in the market rather than come up with something new.

“Our entrepreneurs, as prevalent as they may be, do not contribute much to our wealth. High-aspiration entrepreneurship is associated with entrepreneurship education, and there simply is not enough of that in New Zealand.”

There are other findings in the study that could help New Zealand policy makers and educators, says Dr Frederick.

A total of 55 countries participated in the research, which was collated and released by the London Business School.

To download a copy of this study go to here. (328kb) New Zealand Herald coverage


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