The Age of Enterprise is an important book, written for a broad audience, which covers an area little touched by traditional historians such as Keith Sinclair, Jamie Belich or Michael King. It shows how entrepreneurship and innovation transformed the New Zealand economy in the late 19th century and sets our experience in context with other similar developments in settler colonies such as Australia and Latin America. In particular, The Age of Enterprise draws on case studies and historical evidence to reveal that the small, organic, rapidly expanding firm was the potent force in New Zealand's growth - the local, smalltime entrepreneur is the hero of this story. By focusing on the shape of our economic history Ian Hunter here fills a major gap in our knowledge of the colonial period which has so far derived largely from the work of social and political historians.
Ian Hunter is a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland Business School. He is a business historian, whose research has been published in journals such as Australian Economic History Review and Business History Review, and the author of David Levene: A Man and his Business and Robert Laidlaw: Man for Our Time. He is a former professor at Massey University and the Centre for International Business History at the University of Reading and the former director of the Auckland Business History Project. He also served as a joint editor of City of Enterprise: Perspectives on Auckland Business History.
1. The Entrepreneur; 2. Seeds in the ground (1820-1880); 3. The Age of Enterprise (1880-1910); 4. The Problem of Origins; 5. Attitudes to enterprise and industry; 6. Social Capital and Immigrant Entrepreneurship; 7. Overcoming scarcity: Capital and the Entrepreneur; 8. Pursuing Innovation; 9. Risk, Persistence, Focus: A Lifecycle of the Entrepreneur; 10. Conclusion: Roots of Enterprise