Help­ing busi­nesses get bet­ter

South Waikato News - - Your Local News - SUPPLIED

Start­ing news busi­nesses and help­ing to keep ex­ist­ing ones go­ing is about to get eas­ier in the South Waikato.

Busi­ness growth cen­tre Firesta­tion is seek­ing ap­pli­cants for its Ac­ti­vate and In­cu­bate cour­ses which will be fully funded by the South Waikato In­vest­ment Fund Trust (SWIFT).

SWIFT chair­man Ian El­liott said the aim was to help busi­nesses launch and ex­ist­ing ones to do bet­ter.

‘‘South Waikato is be­low the na­tional av­er­age for start­ing new busi­nesses and we are see­ing a de­cline in the num­ber of busi­nesses op­er­at­ing,’’ he said.

‘‘For the South Waikato to de­velop and grow we need to sup­port ini­tia­tives that will boost the

‘‘It's cru­cial.’’ Ian El­liott

lo­cal econ­omy. It’s cru­cial that we help and sup­port peo­ple who want to take the risk and start a busi­ness or so­cial en­ter­prise.’’

‘‘We have ap­pointed Firesta­tion as they have a proven track record de­liv­er­ing these types of pro­grammes in the re­gions,’’ he said.

Up to 20 par­tic­i­pants are be­ing sought for the two pro­grammes which will start in Oc­to­ber.

The six-week course is for peo­ple who have an idea for a new busi­ness, prod­uct or ser­vice but are not sure how to get it off the ground. The pro­gramme fo­cuses on idea de­vel­op­ment and the steps re­quired for launch.

In­cu­bate is for smaller, newer busi­nesses and fo­cuses on the foun­da­tion of set­ting up a sus­tain­able and suc­cess­ful busi­ness. Par­tic­i­pants present a busi­ness plan at the end of the 12-week course.

Both pro­grammes have a mix of group train­ing and one-on-one busi­ness coach­ing.

Pro­gramme direc­tor Dar­ren Mcgarvie said he was look­ing for­ward to bring­ing the pro­grammes to the South Waikato.

‘‘In three years we have had more than 100 or­gan­i­sa­tions through our pro­grammes in Ro­torua, Taupo¯ and Kaw­erau,’’ he said.

‘‘We have run seven In­cu­bate co­horts in Ro­torua and the busi­ness sur­vival rate af­ter one year is 95 per cent, sig­nif­i­cantly higher than av­er­age.’’

Mcgarvie said all par­tic­i­pants need to sign a pledge of com­mit­ment.

‘‘The pledge is an im­por­tant part of our pro­grammes as they are sub­sidised . We have found it is a pow­er­ful way to set the tone of the course,’’ he said.

Ap­pli­ca­tions are now open. For more in­for­ma­tion or to ap­ply visit bit.ly/sw­prog.

LUKE KIRKEBY/ STUFF

2016 Sport­ing Per­son­al­ity of the Year win­ner Josiah Teoko­tai.

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