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25 things with Vend’s Vaughan Rowsell, part five

5 things to help support entrepreneurs


New Zealand is going to need more entrepreneurs and the best thing you can do is to help fund them. Put your Kiwisaver into a programme that invests in them. Crowdfund them. Become an angel. If you have the cash, don’t buy that rental property, sink it into some smart local startups. I’m clearly talking to the avocado buyers here, but if you don’t know where to put your cash, call me.

A living wage

The biggest barrier to starting-up is the reality that you need to pay for power and groceries. If you’re a parent, then stuff just got ten times harder to go all in. A living wage for us all is inevitable due to automation, so we should replace the current unemployment and invalids benefits (and the stigma attached to them) with a living wage and extend it to cover a 24 month small business starter wage.

Drop the tall poppy attitude once and for all

Everyone’s a social media critic and in New Zealand it is cool to hate. It probably has something to do with our 1.5 degrees of separation that makes us feel like we know everyone else’s business. I don’t know when hating on people doing hard stuff became a national pastime, but it’s time we grew up and called this shit out. 

Want to make that snarky remark on Twitter? How about you write your target a DM instead saying you heard things were tough and asking if they need a hand.

Celebrate the everyday heroes

We have so many hidden away. Mostly they keep their head down for fear of it being knocked off. The more we talk about people doing the hard stuff and making a difference the more role models we create and the more we make it okay that it’s hard, and okay to screw up because everyone does, the better. Every overnight success has a backstory of 100 screw ups and they should be the most fun and insightful parts of the stories to tell.

Start a local chapter of Entrepreneurs Anonymous

I started this idea a few years back and it’s really simple. Flush out another entrepreneur on a similar journey to you and then … talk to them. Share what is really hard at the moment, and be there to listen to them and their epic stories of woe. Tell every entrepreneur you know to do the same. But here’s the thing: keep it private. No meetups. No logo. Just be the support someone else needs as they embark on this crazy awesome journey of entrepreneurship.

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