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Massey researcher receives Fulbright to study indigenous enterprise

Dr Jason Mika.

Dr Jason Mika from the School of Management has received this year’s Fulbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Scholar Award, which will see him visit Stanford University and the University of Arizona.

The Fullbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Scholar Award is for a New Zealand academic, artist or professional to lecture or conduct research at a United States institution in the field of indigenous development.

Dr Mika says he is “humbled and honoured” to receive the award and is looking forward to the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

He will research the design of effective enterprise assistance for indigenous entrepreneurs. He has extensively researched Māori enterprise assistance in New Zealand and is keen to compare what works in the United States.

“I’m hoping to get some new ideas about the kinds of theories and programmes that have worked well, to see what we can learn that may help Māori entrepreneurs,” he says. “But I also want to share knowledge and collaborate with international researchers as we will have a lot to learn from each other.”

Centres for innovation and indigeous studies

Dr Mika has chosen to visit Stanford because it is associated with one of the world’s most established entrepreneurial ecosystems.

“Everybody has heard of Silicon Valley but how inclusive is it for indigenous entrepreneurs? I want to know if they are well supported and whether or not are part of that system,” he says.

The University of Arizona was chosen by Dr Mika because it is home to the world-leading Native Nations Institute. 

“The researchers there are experts in indigenous leadership and governance and they have been effective at supporting Native nations to realise their own economic independence and self-determination.” 

Dr Mika’s award is one of seven grants made by Fulbright New Zealand in 2019. The awards are unique in that they are available for research in any field but are united in the common goal to forge international collaboration. 

Dr Mika will be honoured alongside the six other award recipients at the annual Fulbright Award Ceremony in June. He will then travel to Arizona in July to visit the Native Nations Institute before heading to Stanford University.


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