New Zealand's start-up ecosystem grows up

11 Aug 2017

A special report by MYOB highlights that Aotearoa is one of the best places in the world to start a business, but more can be done to support a thriving start-up ecosystem

A report by business software provider MYOB on the state of New Zealand’s start-up ecosystem says the country has a healthy start-up culture, but more can be done to support the development of home-grown entrepreneurs.

MYOB General Manager Carolyn Luey points out that in recent years New Zealand has made a name for itself as a great place to start a business.

“According to members of the start-up community and data from our latest Business Monitor survey, in terms of environment, attitude and entrepreneurialism, New Zealand is a great place to be if you’re an innovator or entrepreneur.

“However, we think more needs to be done to establish New Zealand as a hub for start-up growth and development, including developing our education system, changing the public’s investment mindset and cultivating talented people who can help businesses to scale up.”

Ms Luey says while their total economic contribution to New Zealand is difficult to measure, the opportunities start-ups provide in terms of diversification, employment and long-term global potential make them a vital part of the local economy.

“In New Zealand, we have no shortage of ideas – and entrepreneurial people with the potential to make them really successful.

“However, we need to keep developing the conditions that nurture and develop the businesses coming through, and couple those start-ups with frameworks and disciplines that can help turn a good idea to a great execution,” says Ms Luey.

In the report, MYOB identifies ways in which New Zealand can strengthen its start-up ecosystem.

“Members of the community agree, undertaking a business venture like a start-up requires a phenomenal amount of hard work – and it’s not for everyone.

“To succeed you must be entrepreneurial. That means having a long-term vision, being curious, grabbing opportunities when they present themselves and a possessing a tonne of self-belief,” says Ms Luey.

To foster a thriving start-up ecosystem, New Zealand also requires better access to capital and investors who are willing to take risks.

“New Zealand’s economy is smaller than the likes of the US or the UK, so our investors are slightly more risk-averse. We need a better understanding of the growth-cycle of these businesses.

“A smaller economy also means we have a smaller pool of people and organisations to supply funding. But start-ups with big and bold ideas need investors who are prepared to back them, despite the risk.”

Ms Luey says shared working spaces are also beneficial to creative business-people, bringing benefits in terms of enabling start-ups to network with mentors, incubators and potential investors.

“Start-ups require purpose built creative environments to collaborate and share ideas.

“We’ve seen it all over the world, particularly in places like Silicon Valley. By putting creative people in a vibrant environment designed to support the way they work, there has been a rise in the number of creative exchanges – everyone’s learning is greatly accelerated by being in the same place.

“New Zealand needs these types of spaces all over the country,” she says.

The MYOB State of Start-Ups report also provides insights from industry leaders, incubators and investors, as well as data from international surveys. Together, the results suggest New Zealand is above average in terms of the essentials for a successful start-up environment.

According to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report 2016, New Zealand is second best nation in terms of managing ongoing compliance requirements, and the Global Information Technology Report 2016 names New Zealand as the number one country to start a business in.

“If you have the passion and drive to do something extraordinary – turning a small idea into a globally marketed product or service – New Zealand has the people, facilities and environment to help you get there.

“New Zealand is making some serious inroads too – with plans for better funding, improvements to tech infrastructure, and a growing startup ecosystem, but there is still a long way for the country to go.

“As New Zealand’s largest accounting solutions provider, MYOB is committed to helping start-ups achieve their goals. If today’s start-ups small business wants to conquer the world, we have a range of tools that can scale up with them have a range of tools, information and technology to get your ideas up and running and scale up with you.

“MYOB was a start-up once. We know what it means to grow and transform how you do business. Ensuring New Zealand has a strong start-up ecosystem to support growing companies is hugely important for the future of our economy,” says Ms Luey.

Click here to download the full MYOB State of Aotearoa’s Start-Ups Report.

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For further comment or other information please contact:

Conor Roberts, MYOB NZ Communications and Public Affairs Manager
M: 021 124 6004 / E: conor.roberts@myob.com

Gerard Blank, The Agency Communications Limited Director
P: 03 341 5841 / M: 0275 243 629 / E: gerard@theagencynz.co.nz

About MYOB

MYOB (ASX: MYO) is a leading cloud based business management solutions provider. It makes business life easier for approximately 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and in 2015 was awarded the BRW award for the most innovative large company for 500+ employees and placed 2nd in BRW’s Most Innovative Companies Award list across all categories nationally.  For more information, visit myob.co.nz or follow @MYOB on Twitter.

About the MYOB Business Monitor

The MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of 1,000+ New Zealand small and medium business owners and managers, from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors. It has run since 2009, commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton. This most recent survey ran in February/March 2017 and included 96 Start-Ups. The Monitor researches business performance and attitudes in areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline, technology usage and the government. The weighting of respondents by both geographical location and sector is based on overall market proportions as established by Statistics New Zealand and is drawn from an independent survey group, which includes both MYOB clients and non-clients.