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Big challenges for small business debated at APEC Forum

29 November 2019

Big challenges for small business debated at APEC Forum next week

The big challenges for New Zealand small businesses, including mental health risks, cashflow and support for women-led businesses will be under the spotlight next week at the APEC SME Productivity and Performance Forum in Wellington.

A series of panel discussions will launch the three-day APEC event, a first of its kind attended by experts and officials from 10 APEC economies.

Business and government leaders from New Zealand and Australia will debate these issues at the Monday night launch event.

“Small businesses here and around the world face similar challenges – managing cash flow, customers, staff and compliance – probably while also juggling family commitments. They are more likely to suffer from isolation and mental health problems – especially in regional areas,” says Director Matt Kennedy-Good.

“On top of this, accessing funding can be really difficult for them, limiting their growth potential. For example businesses of six or fewer staff – 92 per cent of businesses, accounting for over half a million Kiwi businesses – have reported considerable difficulty getting finance.

“Around the world research shows that leading a business can also be more challenging for women business owners. These are major issues for the New Zealand, given we’re a nation of small businesses – a business proportion second only to Italy across the OECD.

“Over the three days of the Forum we will focus on best practices around the world for helping to better support our small businesses to become more productive, sustainable and inclusive.

“New Zealand is rated top by the World Bank for ease of doing business. We also want to make our businesses the best supported,” says Mr Kennedy-Good.

Media are invited to attend the discussion panels, running from 4pm-7pm on Monday 2 December, at Soundings Theatre, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and talk to speakers afterwards. is hosting the Forum, where experts and officials from around the world will work together to better support the 100 million small businesses around the world. is a business group of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment and provides tools, advice and support for New Zealand’s more than 600,000 small businesses.


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