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Debate on SMEs challenges due

The challenges encountered by ethnic small and medium enterprises will be the focus of a seminar scheduled to be held on March 8, 2014.

Wellington based New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils is organising the event with the support of the Auckland Council and AUT Pacific Media Centre at Sir Paul Reeves Building (WG) located at the Wellesley Street campus of AUT University.

Federation Executive Director Tayo Agunlejika said that a number of speakers will deliberate on the main theme, ‘Small & Medium Ethnic Enterprises, Government and Businesses.’

Among them are Ethnic Affairs Minister Judith Collins, Auckland Mayor Len Brown, Ethnic Affairs Office Director Berlinda Chin, Federation Acting President Priyani de Silva-Currie, University of Auckland Research student Olufemi Omisanki, IT recruitment consultant Maria Poole, Canterbury Business Association Chief Executive Taz Mukurombindo, Former Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin and the editor of this newspaper.

Integrating businesses

“Immigrant entrepreneurship provides a mechanism to integrate immigrants into mainstream of the host society, and is often perceived as a comfortable form of socioeconomic self-help,” he said.

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) employing up to 20 persons are an important part of the New Zealand economy, he said.

Mr Agunlejika said that SMEs account for 97.2 of all businesses and 30.2% of all employees in the country, accounting for 27.8% of our GDP.

“Entrepreneurship is seen as a solution to alleviate the high rate of unemployment among new migrants. Ethnic SMEs contribute significantly to Auckland’s growth and wellbeing. However, these business owners are less likely to use public sector business support than other mainstream enterprises,” he said.

Further details about the Forum will appear in our next issue.

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