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Research into Entrepreneurship In Vanuatu

Press Release – Unitec

Research into Entrepreneurship In Vanuatu Unitec researchers were again part of the worldwide Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report, a survey of the entrepreneurial attitudes, activities, and aspirations of individuals around the world. GEM has been …Research into Entrepreneurship In Vanuatu

Unitec researchers were again part of the worldwide Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report, a survey of the entrepreneurial attitudes, activities, and aspirations of individuals around the world. GEM has been ranking countries for the last 13 years and Unitec has represented GEM New Zealand since 2001.

The latest research looked at Pacific nation Vanuatu for a snapshot of its entrepreneurial activity for the wider GEM report. Department of Management and Marketing Lecturer Malama Solomona, along with a team comprising Associate Professor Robert Davis, Dr Asoka Gunaratne, Judith King and Tuna Tiseli and their key collaborators at Unitec’s Pacific Centre, participated in the research. They were also helped in the project by Simil Johnson, the Director of Vanuatu National Statistics Office (VNSO) based in Port Vila, and the GEM in-country co-ordinator, Andrina Thomas-Lini.

In October a celebration was held to mark the end of phase two, the official handover of the GEM Vanuatu study, and was attended by the Consulate General of the Republic of Vanuatu, represented by Consul General McKenzie Kalotiti, and the local Vanuatu community in Auckland.

The results for Vanuatu showed there was a lot of entrepreneurial activity in the small island nation. “They are highly entrepreneurial, mostly in the early stages,” says Solomona. “But they scored quite high in terms of discontinuation. They tend to exit quite quickly, because they find it hard to survive with the constraints such as infrastructure issues, lack of education and little or no access to finance.”

The study showed that while Vanuatu people embraced the idea of being self-employed, the survival beyond the 3.5 year threshold was an area of concern. Less than half of the 1182 people surveyed believed fear of failure prevented them from starting up a business, compared to the GEM Tongan study in 2009 where 65 per cent of the adult population regarded this as a significant factor.

According to the research Vanuatu people are also positive about opportunities and their ability to start a business. The majority of the adult population (73.6 per cent) believed there were good opportunities to start a business in the area where they live, while an equally high number (79.6 per cent) believed that they had the required skills and knowledge to start a business.

The research means that they are now able to look at ways to support and promote the entrepreneurial activities of people in Vanuatu, says Solomona. “As a result of the findings, we have been able to look at education and framing. For example, since GEM finished, they have had a formal organisation set up called Women in Business, which is based on a similar model in Samoa.”
A delegation from Unitec will be visiting Vanuatu in November to deliver the formal report to the Vanuatu government, as well as hold workshops on their findings.

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