Entrepreneurs will save the economy from COVID-19, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Network in New Zealand (GEN NZ).

GEN NZ, a coalition of over 70 people and organisations that support entrepreneurs around New Zealand, has released a raft of economic development recommendations for the incoming Government this morning in the form of an Entrepreneurship Manifesto.

The manifesto calls on Government to collaborate further with entrepreneurs to improve the conditions for innovation and new business formation. Areas for development include policy making, support networks, education, venture funding, and immigration.

“Rebooting our economy after COVID-19 is going to be a huge challenge,” says GEN NZ Chair Dave Moskovitz. “There’s no going back to the old normal. Innovation, agility, resilience, and a lot of hard work will be required to build our new economy on a more sustainable basis. The people with experience doing this are entrepreneurs, and it’s never been more important to encourage and support entrepreneurial activity.”

Global Entrepreneurship Network NZ Chair, Dave Moskovitz.

Speaking to #nzentrepreneur, Moskovitz believes the promotion and support of entrepreneurship is more important now than ever.

“The big vision is to encourage more people to become entrepreneurs, and to support business founders in their endeavours to create a more resilient foundation for inter-generational economic prosperity. This can only be done by Government collaborating with the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Specific recommendations in the manifesto include creating a shared entrepreneurship vision and roadmap; resourcing local entrepreneurship organisations in each region; aligning educational institutions, entrepreneur training programs, and the entrepreneurship community; tripling the amount of government funding available for very early stage businesses; and increasing the quality and quantity of entrepreneurs through visa policies. In all, 17 initiatives are proposed.

The manifesto was compiled by members of GEN NZ. The organisation includes entrepreneurs themselves, and individuals representing early-stage investors, academia, accelerators, incubators, meetups, regional economic development agencies, central government agencies, and other entrepreneurial support organisations such as Startup Weekend, Startup Genome, and local entrepreneurial hubs.

“Entrepreneurs are ready to collaborate with Government and policymakers. Together we can work on a ‘new normal’ economy that is much better and much more sustainable than the old normal,” says GEN NZ Managing Director Marwan Jamal. “We look forward to the incoming government answering the call.”

Vic Maclennan, founder of Optimal BI and NZRise added, “New Zealand companies and talent will define the future that Kiwis want to live in. Local support and cooperation are vital if we don’t want big multinational companies to dictate the future of New Zealand.”

The manifesto can be downloaded at https://genglobal.org/new-zealand/manifesto