If there was ever a single strategy that could combat the ongoing effects of colonisation on indigenous peoples, it would be the breeding of entrepreneurial thinkers and the practical application of entrepreneurship. The pursuit for independence and entrepreneurship is not a new idea for Maaori, but an act of remembering our independent, entrepreneurial thinking of old. The following research supports the notion that entrepreneurial mindsets within rangatahi Maaori are still alive in their blood, but are ash and embers waiting to be sparked again. The research looks to provide themes of interaction and influence that provide this spark, igniting entrepreneurial thinking within rangatahi Maaori, by engaging with rangatahi Maaori currently taking part in entrepreneurial activity. The research follows the symbol and concept of karanga, calling to rangatahi Maaori and those within Maaori communities tasked with creating the future of our iwi2. The research provides karanga from rangatahi Maaori outlining moments where meaningful engagement can occur between tuakana3 and teina4. These moments of influence can provide a catalyst for self-determination and independence within rangatahi. The research is intended to be used as a voice for rangatahi Maaori, calling out to those within leadership roles, both professionally and personally, to take on and implement moments that spark entrepreneurial activity within the rangatahi that they lead. The final karanga provides a koha of findings from the research which outlines; the importance of affirming and remembering the calls of Maaui, relevant business models to entrepreneurial sparking, and the notion of whaangai as an effective model in creating access to communal circles of influence for rangatahi Maaori.
There are many expectations on rangatahi Maaori as a generation. And in order to live up to the expectations required of us, we must contribute. This research is a karanga to not just remember our Golden Years, but to create spaces where the memory creates a spark of the ashes and embers of our entrepreneurial selves before we were born. Let’s light the match.