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SME Leap Summit – Leading Enterprise Acceleration And Productivity

SME Leap Summit – Leading Enterprise Acceleration And Productivity

Photo of Annette Azuma

Article by
Annette Azuma
STAPLES RODWAY AUCKLAND
annette.azuma@staplesrodway.co.nz

Auckland 31 January 2018

Presented by

Hunter Powell Investments

Co-Sponsored By

Staples Rodway & Westpac

Staples Rodway is passionate about helping SMEs add value to their businesses. When Tenby Powell (high profile businessman, social entrepreneur and APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) representative amongst other roles) gave us the opportunity to sponsor the SME LEAP Summit we jumped at the chance.

I first had the privilege of meeting Tenby at the Japan NZ Business Council conference held in Osaka in November 2017. His enthusiasm and passion to help SMEs is contagious.

If SME business performance was lifted by even 1% this would add around $2.1 billion to national GDP. The potential is massive.

The Summit was held the day before the ABAC meeting being held in Auckland, so a number of other APEC members could share their knowledge with the 150+ delegates of many ethnicities including Maori, Pasifika, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Japanese and Pakeha.

Speakers included New Zealand’s Minister for Small Business Stuart Nash MP, Sharon Hunter, Stephen Jacobi on revamped Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP) and Staples Rodway Managing Director David Searle — who spoke on the challenges for SMEs of meeting their compliance burdens.

The afternoon session featured workshops which focused on issues facing SMEs and possible solutions. Challenges identified by participants included:

  • Poor access to market and trade information requirements;
  • Struggling to make valuable foreign connections;
  • Relatively higher costs of services and products for SMEs (lacking ability to negotiate for bulk etc)
  • NTBs (non-tariff barriers) such as compliance costs.
  • Lack of access to capital

The slower than standard “20th of the next month” payment terms large corporates have is one of the surprising issues facing many SMEs.

The message from the Summit is clear — dramatic change is needed. Not just an incremental advance, but a real step change embracing and carrying with it the whole sector. As a first step the goal is to create a Crown Institute for SMEs governed by a Board of Directors from the private sector to work closely with the government to make a significant difference.

Staples Rodway are proud to continue to support this initiative — helping SME businesses grow, which in turn will benefit society as a whole.

Infographic showing SMEs in New Zealand at a glance

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