Media Release - 19 Novmeber 2010
Senior Communications Manager
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Entrepreneurship in the spotlight
19 Novmeber 2010
Entrepreneurship is in the spotlight this week as people all over the world acknowledge the importance of initiative, creativity, innovation and commitment to building the world’s economy.
“It’s fantastic to see this movement grow,” says Jon Hooper, EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Award Director. “We have been putting our weight behind entrepreneurship for well over a decade now and I can tell you that entrepreneurship is alive and well in New Zealand despite the recession.”
EY has been bringing top entrepreneurs from over 50 countries together in Monte Carlo each year in good times and in bad since 1986 to compete in the World Entrepreneur Of the year and has learned a few lessons about entrepreneurs along the way.
It’s difficult to be bullish about bear market conditions but Hooper says that entrepreneurs tend to see a silver lining in the darkest of clouds but they can’t exist in isolation and need support and encouragement to succeed.
“New Zealanders are inventive and creative as a nation but we could to be generous spirited and be happy for those who succeed. Entrepreneurs are tall poppies. We need to learn to love tall poppies,” says Hooper.
One of the great advantages of being involved in the local and world Entrepreneur Of The Year awards continues Hooper is that you gain exposure to very talented people with very sound business and life ideas. Meeting any one of the contenders would be inspirational enough, but having access to a whole global network of talent is really eye opening.
“If there is any one lesson to be taken it is that we need to be bold,” says Hooper. “We need to strengthen and invest in the education systems that will produce a competitive and well educated labour market. Systems that will foster innovation, and determination in our young people. We need policies that reward research and development, encourage public and private partnerships and create a tax-framework friendly to innovation. But more importantly we have to make capital more available to entrepreneurs. Denying an entrepreneur capital is like starving them of oxygen, so it is crucial that we create an efficient capital market to support and encourage entrepreneurship. “
“The message from the entrepreneurial community is clear,” says Hooper. “Regardless of the economic backdrop, the fundamental considerations for entrepreneurs remain surprisingly consistent. It’s always imperative to keep an eye on costs, be innovative in all aspects of business, take calculated risks, and develop a strong team around you.”
“Confidence is the key to success,” says Hooper. “Entrepreneurs are the people who are willing to take the risks and to spearhead growth and lead the way in turning the economy around. I’ve come to the conclusion that without doubt entrepreneurs are the ones who challenge the status quo, change the order of things and in the process do their bit to define the world we live in.”
"It takes a great deal of passion, drive and perseverance to be an entrepreneur,” says Hooper. "Tim Alpe of Jucy Rentals, this year’s EY’s winner has all of that in spades. Next year he competes against entrepreneurs from over 50 countries joining an elite group of entrepreneurs who have represented NZ on the world stage including Diane Foreman of Emerald Group, Michael Hill of Michael Hill International, Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop and Sir George Fistonich of Villa Maria Estate.
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This news release has been issued by EY New Zealand, a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.