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HomeNEWSHow small business owners plan to thrive in 2021

How small business owners plan to thrive in 2021

New survey data from Shopify reveals that confidence is low, but ambition is high for New Zealand’s small business entrepreneurs.

Almost half of New Zealand’s small business owners are only ‘somewhat’ confident of their business thriving in a post-Covid 19 world (42%). A further one in ten (10%) are ‘not at all’ confident their business will survive.

In spite of this low morale, 41% of New Zealand small business owners are planning on starting a new business in 2021, demonstrating the entrepreneurial spirit of New Zealand business owners.

Leading global commerce company Shopify has uncovered the key challenges faced by small business owners in the past 12 months, and what they turned to in order to survive and recover. 

Cash flow and profitability (33%) was identified as the main challenge, followed by ‘social distancing restrictions and lock down laws, which impacted 28% of small business owners.

Personal ‘grit, determination and resilience’ was noted as the most important initiative, action, or approach that helped small business owners survive the pandemic (38%). The next most important was ‘moving my business online,’ identified by almost one in five businesses (19%) as being key to their survival.


More key findings from the survey include:

  • More than half (54%) of New Zealand small business owners identify as ‘solopreneurs,’ operating as a one person operation
  • The most important priority over the next 6-12 months for small business owners is ‘building customer loyalty,’ (37%), followed by ‘establishing a strong online social presence,’ (34%)
  • The main concern for small business owners over the next 6-12 months is ‘revenue loss’ at 29%


Managing Director of APAC for Shopify, Shaun Broughton, says New Zealanders have proven time and time again that they find inventive ways to prevail in times of struggle.

“New Zealand small business owners are keeping their entrepreneurial spirit alive through starting new businesses this year.

“The fact they elected their personal grit, determination and resilience as the top survival method is further proof Kiwi small business owners have what it takes to make it on top and are invaluable assets to the economy.”



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