GLOSSARY, WIKI & INTERACTIVE ELEMENTS OF SITE
OTHER WEB PARTS
[i] As citied in Ministry of Economic Development (2007)
‘A nation of small businesses’ (MED, 2009, p9), the entrepreneurial nature of our culture is evident among Auckland small businesses in particular, where the city particular rates highly for entrepreneurship and lifestyle factors (OECD, 2008).. Our underlying entrepreneurial tendencies are supported by government (MED, 2009, NZTE, 2009). The definition of any indicator such as size is obviously going to be heavily dependent on its context. OCED (2009) definitions reported that “SMEs are defined as enterprises with 19 or fewer employees and The Ministry of Economic Development appears to maintain this (MED, 2009). But while 19 people may be a small business in other parts of the world, that constitutes 97% of businesses in New Zealand are this size or smaller (MED, 2009). In fact, 68% of our businesses have no employees beyond the owner/operator. (Statistics NZ, 2009). Despite this incongruence, the general consensus is still to stick to that measure.(Business NZ, 2009).
With the NZ governments definition of enterprise including such legal entities as ‘companies, partnerships, trusts, incorporated societies, government organisations, voluntary organisations and self employed individuals, among others’ (MED, 2009), it’s likely we have SMEs who aren’t even aware they are one. This ambiguity and lack of awareness SME owner/managers broadly appears to not be uncommon (Gill & MacCormick, 1999). Fundamentally, this unawareness is not restricted to the owner/manager category, broadly there appears to be some under-current of this trend throughout the review. SMEs are not simply smaller versions of big businesses. (Coviello & Martin,1999). And while there have been extensive studies within the field of “small business” in the NZ context, particularly by public sector agencies, the majority of these do not focus on what would technically be considered a micro-business.
The majority of government initiatives and studies feature considerations of businesses with turnover of $1M+ or at least 6 employees (Statistics NZ, 2009). Subsequently, they have excluded the large amount of this market whom do not fulfil this criteria. There is wide discussion within these areas with concerns for growth. The “3b syndrome” or ‘boat. Batch and beemer” (NZTE, 2009) phenomenon has been widely debated and discussed. It concerns the activity of “lifestyle entrepreneurs” and their role in economies and societies (Massey, 2004). Overall the world has in recent years experienced a social trend and concern towards sustainability and environmentally friendly. Now not only are we beginning to recognise in the mainstream the need to correct this, but there has been a shift towards the recognition of “biosphere economy” (Volans, 2010). The shift in power among the different generations is acting as a catalyst for these changes to be faced, or so we do assume.
The size, flexibility and nature of the SME places them in good stead to make maximum advantage as these changes continue to become more main stream in society. The management capabilities of owner/managers and other SMEs in NZ are widely recognised to be one of the markets biggest shortcomings. Their size, on the one hand, provides considerable advantages over the economies current leaders, the Multi-National Corporation (MNC) whom have none of the same ability to be flexible and dynamic (Williamson, 2009). On the other hand, this is at the same time what limits their ability and level of achievement. Hardworking and innovative, the NZ workforce has strong potential, and is one of the higher educated markets internationally (OECD, 2009).
Despite this, SMEs owner / managers will be required to actively consider how they manage this new form of speedy and connected business. The lack of resourcing capabilities within SMEs may also explain the lack of uptake with SNSs. However it is important that the value of these be appreciated by the SME sector, as the unique reality is that the advantages afforded to MNCs through their size, in terms of resources and human capability, can potentially be equally afforded to SMEs through collaboration. SNSs are the key link, providing us with new and more effective ways to negotiate, organise and facilitate such collaborations.
Ultimately, in an information age, especially one which is found in markets valuing instant gratification, whether they are aware of it or not, every individual is in fact operating as a brand themselves. Ried Hoffmann (one of the founders of LinkedIn) put it best when he describes how he came up with the concept; “I think everyone is now an entrepreneur, whether they realise it or not. The average job is 2-4 years- that makes you a small business, the business of yourself” (Hoffman, as cited in Rao, 2009).