Small Business Summit

This Friday there is a Small Business Summit in Auckland with the Ministry of Economic Development and key Ministers there.

Great money quote:

New Zealand is predominantly a nation of small businesses representing 96.4 per cent of New Zealand firms. In her speech at the 2007 Small Business Expo Hon Lianne Dalziel said “the SME sector is indisputably vitally important to the New Zealand economy. In total the SME sector represents 350,000 business units which provided 59% of all new net employment in the economy from 2001 – 2006. It is the vast potential for growth that makes small business critical to the government’s economic transformation agenda.”

I heard one of the Organisers talking about it in Radio Live today and thought it sounded interesting.  It’s organized by the IBF.

The Independent Business Foundation (IBF) represents the combined interest of the New Zealand small to medium enterprise economy numbering in excess of 350,000 business units covering a broad spectrum of skill and industry sectors. It provides a national voice on behalf of the majority of business sectors which, while numerically strong, lack on their own the collective voice to influence economic policy direction. 

I didn’t catch the name of the organizer but he said the biggest issue that small businesses are facing right now are the skills shortage and education. I’d agree.  

The web can play a big part here.  Not just in software applications but as a place where you can find and share information.

Looking through the program it also looks like they’ve identified another of the big issues.  Planning for succession.  This is a massive issue coming up as the baby boomers seek to exit their businesses and retire.

I also noted on the website a focus on private capital raising in the under $0.5 million market. That’s so important in the space to give our small businesses the oxygen to grow- as well as enable succession by acquisition. All of these point to making SME’s better at financial management. Something we’re passionate about.

I do have to be in Auckland on Friday so will try to pop along for a few sessions.

One Comment

Richard Francis
July 25, 2008 at 11:30 am

Very interesting – and overdue. SME’s do so ofetn get lost in the business/government rhetoric.

But as someone who works with SME’s every day I am surprised to learn of the existence of the IBF and of the Summit event! A quick straw poll of SME clients also drew a blank. Looking at the summit details, I can’t help wondering if this is another academic/political/policy adviser gig with little genuine SME input? One hopes not.

Let’s hope the 2009 event is well-promoted, inclusive and that we can see something tangible come out of the summit(s). Now, time to have a better look at the IBF…

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