Unlimited Privately Held Business Link

Back in 2010 we began working with Fairfax to develop and evolve a programme that would ultimately provide Kiwi businesses with a national voice. We wanted to give business owners the opportunity to network with other like-minded business owners and to share their experiences with one another while providing a vehicle to get these views out to the wider business community. Fairfax publish Unlimited magazine, dedicated to inspiring business through strategy, investment, development, innovation & management ideas from New Zealand and around the globe - the perfect partner for Grant Thornton New Zealand.

We are delighted to be the foundation sponsor of Unlimited Privately Held Business Link – the voice of privately held business. As one of the world’s leading accounting, tax and business advisory firms, Grant Thornton has a proud and unique history of founding its global practices on the dedication to, and needs of privately held businesses across the world, but particularly here in New Zealand where we work tirelessly to help unlock the potential for growth of thousands of Kiwi owned businesses.

New Zealand’s economic future depends heavily on some 88,000 privately held businesses, the vast majority of which are also SMEs. According to Ministry of Economic Development data, SMEs account for around 97% of all businesses and 30% of all employees. Their contribution to economic output (measured on a deflated value added basis) is about 42%. Our goal is to help Kiwi businesses navigate the complexities of doing business both in New Zealand and around the world.

How can you benefit from Unlimited Privately Held Business Link?

Often business owners are so immersed in the day-to-day running of their businesses they don’t have a chance to reflect on the wider issues that impact them. Such issues include financing, human capital and succession planning just to name a few. We understand that owning a business can sometimes be a lonely experience, so Unlimited Business Link was developed to give business owners an outlet to voice concerns and ideas, and engage with likeminded business people as well as those who can offer a fresh perspective. Ultimately we want to give business owners a collective voice because our economic future depends heavily on the performance of SMEs. Here are the ways you can get involved:

Subscribe to Unlimited

Keep abreast of the issues and challenges facing other business owners:

Attend an Unlimited Privately Held Business Link forum


Unlimited Business Link forum

We hold regular forums located in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. We invite a group of up to 15 local business owners to join us for a boardroom working lunch and discuss the issues and challenges on a particular topic.

To date we have held 19 forums on the following topics:

  • Financing: A process not a transaction
  • Human capital: making the right investments
  • Working on your business, not just in it
  • Governance for Privately Held Business
  • Succeeding at succession
  • Improving your business productivity: working smarter, not harder

If you would like to attend a forum on any of these topics please provide us with your details and feel free to note any other topics you would like us to consider.

The Great Debate

A year of forums and articles culminated into an evening of drama, laughter, hoots and catcalls. The Unlimited Business Link inaugural Great Debate provided business owners with intellectual stimulation, practical opinion and started the journey to provide a voice for privately held business owners.

Greg Thompson, Partner, Tax did a great job representing Grant Thornton and kicking off the evening while Rod Oram was the adjudicator. The moot for the evening: that kiwi companies need foreign investment to grow offshore.

The affirmative team:

  • Tenby Powell
  • Andy Hamilton
  • Prof. Usha Haley
  • Helen Robinson

For the opposition:

  • Mark Weldon
  • Davey Hughes
  • Simon Barnett
  • Rt Hon Winston Peters

The Unlimited Business Link Great Debate 2012: extended highlights