Despite substantial definitional issues (Thomas 2000), small businesses in regional New Zealand, as elsewhere around the world, are widely regarded as important employment and economic development generators. According to the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development (2001) 84.9% of New Zealand businesses are small enterprises, and 11.6% are medium sized enterprises. SMEs account for 35% of New Zealand’s economic output and account for a greater amount of employment than in other international economies. For the purposes of comparability, this chapter uses the definition of SME developed by the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development. The Ministry of Economic Development (2001) defines a medium enterprise as any business that employs 6-19 full time employees (FTE), and a small enterprise as one that employs 5 or less FTEs. Nevertheless, despite their supposed significance, there has been no comprehensive study to date on the overall business profile and management characteristics, and entrepreneur profile of small business in New Zealand. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that such businesses are characterised by a small number of employees — usually less than 5, the owner being responsible for a high degree of operational and management duties and few companies that implement “best practice” business management principles on a day-to-day basis (Ministry of Economic Development 2001).