Helping businesses get better
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.
2016 Sporting Personality of the Year winner Josiah Teokotai.