Icehouse boosts offering

GROWING BUSINESS: Matawhero Wines owner Kirsten Searle (left) has been working with Icehouse coach Michaela Vodanovich. Picture by Paul Rickard

Business growth organisation The Icehouse is shifting support for Gisborne business owners up a gear with the launch of the Owner Operator Programme in the region.

The move marks the opening of a third regional base for The Icehouse, which has existing hubs in Auckland and Hawke’s Bay.

Recent surveys of Icehouse alumni in Hawke’s Bay show total job growth, since working with The Icehouse, at 677 FTEs (full-time equivalents)or average growth of 116 percent, year-on-year 17 percent; and revenue growth of $232m or average growth of 219 percent, year-on-year 26 percent. Export revenue increased by an average of 130 percent for those already exporting.

Additionally, those business owners which had started exporting since attending an Icehouse programme reported $86m in export earnings.

The Owner Operator Programme offers a collaborative platform for business owners to develop their skills and grow opportunities. It is facilitated by leading Icehouse coach and facilitator Michaela Vodanovich at the BNZ Partners Centre in Gisborne.

Ms Vodanovich said market validation had been done over the past two years in the wider Gisborne region to gauge whether there was demand for The Icehouse to have a greater presence.

“We have had an excellent response with more than 20 business owners signing up for coaching services and the Owner Operator Programme is now attracting high levels of interest.”

Ms Vodanovich said four owners were now on the 14-month programme, which had flexible start times. There was also an opportunity for the highly-rated Effective Leadership Programme to be introduced to Gisborne.

Previously only available in Hawke’s Bay, the programme is aimed at lifting the capability of team leaders, allowing business owners more time to work on the business rather than in it.

Ms Vodanovich said the programme was open to all business owners who employed staff, with staggered start dates available.

Gisborne business owner Kirsten Searle from Matawhero Wines has been working with Ms Vodanovich for the past three years and said working with The Icehouse had provided her with a platform for strategy preparation and priorities, accountability, recruitment strategies and “a different perspective on the business”.

Matawhero had grown significantly in the time she had been working with The Icehouse.

“We’ve experienced on average 25 percent growth year-on-year over the past four years — a great result in a highly competitive market and sector.”

Icehouse chief executive Andy Hamilton said it was encouraging to see the response both from business owners and stakeholders in the region.

“We have seen excellent support by stakeholders including Activate Tairawhiti and Eastland Community Trust. Having the support of local stakeholders, who share our vision of enabling business in the region to reach its potential, is fantastic. The opening of operations in Gisborne continues our ambition to enable SMEs in every region of New Zealand to have the opportunity for support, enablement and ultimately success.”

Activate Tairawhiti general manager Steve Breen welcomed the move.

“We’ve been working with Michaela since we started and we’ve seen the great work she has been doing with our businesses. The results are impressive and we welcome the increased focus Michaela is bringing to the region with the Owner Operator Programme.”

The Icehouse is backed by the Government and an extensive group of committed partners that includes: Bank of New Zealand, Callaghan Innovation, Xero, Vodafone, Chartered Accountants Australia and NZ and founder The University of Auckland Business School.

  • Coaching and customised sessions will be held at the BNZ Partners Centre, which will also host an Icehouse information rack.

Business growth organisation The Icehouse is shifting support for Gisborne business owners up a gear with the launch of the Owner Operator Programme in the region.

The move marks the opening of a third regional base for The Icehouse, which has existing hubs in Auckland and Hawke’s Bay.

Recent surveys of Icehouse alumni in Hawke’s Bay show total job growth, since working with The Icehouse, at 677 FTEs (full-time equivalents)or average growth of 116 percent, year-on-year 17 percent; and revenue growth of $232m or average growth of 219 percent, year-on-year 26 percent. Export revenue increased by an average of 130 percent for those already exporting.

Additionally, those business owners which had started exporting since attending an Icehouse programme reported $86m in export earnings.

The Owner Operator Programme offers a collaborative platform for business owners to develop their skills and grow opportunities. It is facilitated by leading Icehouse coach and facilitator Michaela Vodanovich at the BNZ Partners Centre in Gisborne.

Ms Vodanovich said market validation had been done over the past two years in the wider Gisborne region to gauge whether there was demand for The Icehouse to have a greater presence.

“We have had an excellent response with more than 20 business owners signing up for coaching services and the Owner Operator Programme is now attracting high levels of interest.”

Ms Vodanovich said four owners were now on the 14-month programme, which had flexible start times. There was also an opportunity for the highly-rated Effective Leadership Programme to be introduced to Gisborne.

Previously only available in Hawke’s Bay, the programme is aimed at lifting the capability of team leaders, allowing business owners more time to work on the business rather than in it.

Ms Vodanovich said the programme was open to all business owners who employed staff, with staggered start dates available.

Gisborne business owner Kirsten Searle from Matawhero Wines has been working with Ms Vodanovich for the past three years and said working with The Icehouse had provided her with a platform for strategy preparation and priorities, accountability, recruitment strategies and “a different perspective on the business”.

Matawhero had grown significantly in the time she had been working with The Icehouse.

“We’ve experienced on average 25 percent growth year-on-year over the past four years — a great result in a highly competitive market and sector.”

Icehouse chief executive Andy Hamilton said it was encouraging to see the response both from business owners and stakeholders in the region.

“We have seen excellent support by stakeholders including Activate Tairawhiti and Eastland Community Trust. Having the support of local stakeholders, who share our vision of enabling business in the region to reach its potential, is fantastic. The opening of operations in Gisborne continues our ambition to enable SMEs in every region of New Zealand to have the opportunity for support, enablement and ultimately success.”

Activate Tairawhiti general manager Steve Breen welcomed the move.

“We’ve been working with Michaela since we started and we’ve seen the great work she has been doing with our businesses. The results are impressive and we welcome the increased focus Michaela is bringing to the region with the Owner Operator Programme.”

The Icehouse is backed by the Government and an extensive group of committed partners that includes: Bank of New Zealand, Callaghan Innovation, Xero, Vodafone, Chartered Accountants Australia and NZ and founder The University of Auckland Business School.

  • Coaching and customised sessions will be held at the BNZ Partners Centre, which will also host an Icehouse information rack.
Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Should the Gisborne District Council consider easing restrictions around freedom camping?​