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A new generation of entrepreneurs are coming through. Some call them digital natives, some call them Generation X. They are the farmers of the future. They will farm data, they will harvest insight, and they will export solutions to an information-hungry world. But we have to grow them. We have the chance to build a vibrant economy fuelled by successful high-growth, hightech ventures that operate internationally and contribute back to New Zealand’s long term wealth. We are on the verge of either embracing this vision or failing it.

Relying on the next Xero, IceBreaker or Weta Digital to appear on its own is not enough. These international success stories are too few and far between to significantly complement overseas revenues generated by our primary sector. We have to work hard to create an environment where a thousand high growth startups – the likes of Starnow, Silverstripe or Vend – can emerge and earn overseas revenues for New Zealand. The critical pathway here is to nurture those grassroots, to find the promise in the undergrowth, and to coax it to grow through a blend of care and attention, fertiliser, and an upward vision. New Zealand’s biggest potential for a strong economy is in developing the large pool of highly talented entrepreneurs who don’t realise their lifestyle business could be an international success. The Rod Drury’s of this world will always do what they are good at. It’s the latent entrepreneurs that we need to help become successful. • 7

NZ Entrepreneur Issue 21  

NZ Entrepreneur is the free e-magazine for New Zealand entrepreneurs and business builders, delivering insightful articles, interviews and i...

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