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Growing entrepreneurs in New Zealand

Hon Steven Joyce

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

17 November 2016
Media Statement

Growing entrepreneurs in New Zealand

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce has opened the Growing Entrepreneurs summit in Auckland, by talking of the importance of entrepreneurs to New Zealand’s longer-term prosperity.

“Entrepreneurs are very important for New Zealand’s future as they lead and grow the businesses that generate employment and deliver considerable export revenues for New Zealand,” Mr Joyce says. “Building a global business from New Zealand takes a special set of skills, and the ‘Growing Entrepreneurs’ Symposium is all about finding and developing more entrepreneurs for our future.”

The one day symposium brings together international and New Zealand speakers to discuss how New Zealand can grow and support more entrepreneurs in the tertiary education system.

“New Zealand is a nation of innovators. We are creative, have flair for thinking outside the box and solving problems in new and innovative ways. We need to look at ways in which we can continue to foster and encourage this behaviour – and add the business skills that create powerful entrepreneurs for the long term benefit of New Zealand,” says Mr Joyce.

The Growing Entrepreneurs event brings academics together with established and up and coming entrepreneurs, to talk freely about how best to support, develop and implement effective strategies that can identify, grow and support future success.

High profile New Zealand entrepreneurs such as Sir Ray Avery, Annah Stretton, Fady Mishriki, Frances Valintine and Ian Taylor will share their experiences throughout the day.

Professor Ikhlaq Sidhu from the Sutardja Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology at University of California Berkeley is the keynote speaker. He is a world leader in the study of entrepreneurship and has significant experience helping engineers and scientists in particular with commercialisation opportunities.

“Professor Sidhu brings a wealth of knowledge on how to create and develop technology innovation and entrepreneurship programmes in a tertiary education setting. His advice and practical guidance around how we can build entrepreneurial capability within the tertiary education sector will be invaluable,” says Mr Joyce.

“It’s often debated whether entrepreneurialism can be taught, or whether entrepreneurs are born. I believed the latter until I met Professor Sidhu in the United States earlier this year. He teaches ‘The Berkeley Method’ where students can be taught the mind-set of becoming an entrepreneur.

“Government believes entrepreneurship is crucial for economic growth, that’s why in Budget 2016 we announced Entrepreneurial Universities, a $35 million initiative which will attract more of the world’s leading researchers and their teams to locate their labs here and base themselves in New Zealand. That involve government entering into a 50/50 partnership with individual universities to attract and support named researchers and their teams to work in New Zealand universities.”

The themes and ideas generated during the event will be used to actively support the goals of providing support, learning and development opportunities to more budding entrepreneurs.


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