I read an interesting article last weekend in Inc. Magazine. The article is called The Trouble With Lifestyle Entrepreneurs and it talks about how the New Zealand government is trying to encourage people to start and grow their businesses.
From the article:
According to a recent study, 14.7% of New Zealand’s adult population is involved in launching a business, a level that exceeds even that of the U.S., where the measure is 11.3%.
Despite its many businesses, however, New Zealand has been falling far behind other developed countries in terms of its standard of living. The problem is that many of these lifestyle entrepreneurs work just enough to buy a second home and a boat and to send their kids to school; for the lucky ones that achieve those things, the incentive to keep enhancing their personal fortune seems to vanish. Experts say that an annual income that is the equivalent of just $70,000 in the U.S. is considered the pinnacle of economic achievement in New Zealand. As a result, few businesses have American-style expansion plans. By one count, the entire country, with a population of four million, has just 240 businesses that employ more than 500 workers.
The writer points out that the entire country is talking about this in the same way Social Security is a national topic here in the U.S. Can you imagine?
Since 1999, Prime Minister Helen Clark has been trying to push entrepreneurs in her country to expand. Her efforts are nearly as much a part of the national discussion in New Zealand as the efforts to fix Social Security and cut health care costs are in the U.S.
It’s an interesting topic and something I didn’t know about New Zealand.