Interview: Entrepreneurship under adversity

I was recently interviewed by Kerre McIvor on Newstalk ZB about entrepreneurship during lockdown. In the interview I discuss which industries new businesses were in, where they were located, and how these lockdown businesses will support the economic recovery.

Benje Patterson interview with Kerre McIvor on Newstalk ZB

Analysis of the Companies Register had shown me that there were more than 3,000 companies started in April during the most restrictive period of our lockdown. A remarkable number of people willing to give it a go at a time when we were all stuck at home.

The process of change is a friend of entrepreneurship. The chaos of disrupted supply chains, new patterns of consumer demand and changing business practices are things that present entrepreneurs with opportunity.

I told Kerre that many of the businesses that have started up during lockdown were offering professional services, given that these services are “weightless” and don’t require large amounts of capital. Nevertheless, I had observed a surprising number of retail and construction businesses.

The new businesses were spread throughout the country, with some of the highest rates of entrepreneurship evident in cities that have recently attracted a lot of regional migrants out of the big smoke. The extensive testing of working from home has given people the confidence to work anywhere in the country.

Not all the companies started now will be thriving in a year’s time. Many will inevitably fail, but that’s just life when it comes to business. The process of creative destruction, where new and more innovative businesses replace those that fall by the wayside, is what will help propel New Zealand’s recovery and long-term productivity.

Benje Patterson interview with Kerre McIvor on Newstalk ZB