Focusing on the original indigenous inhabits of Australia and New Zealand, we examine the basic precept of social marginality theory, whether socially marginalised and disadvantaged entrepreneurs might actually be more likely to start a new venture. Using survey data and in-depth interviews, we find mixed results. For Maori, the original Polynesian inhabitants of Aotearoa New Zealand, their position of disadvantage coupled with a history and cultural attitudes favouring enterprise has led to one of the world’s highest rates of entrepreneurial activity. However, for Indigenous Aboriginal Australians, their disadvantage and marginal status within Australian society, compounded by a continued legacy of inequity and by internal factors, has not encouraged an enterprising culture.
Regional Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research 2007: 4th International AGSE Entrepreneurship Research Exchange. Proceedings of the 4th International AGSE Entrepreneurship Research Exchange (Brisbane, Qld 6-9 February, 2007) p. 607-608