Backing Maori business vision

Advice, mentoring for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Advice, mentoring for aspiring entrepreneurs.

“I HAVE A VISION”: Fred Bishop is an aspiring entrepreneur who has a vision to help at-risk youth in the community. He attended the Pakihi — Getting Into Business workshop at Te Wananga o Aotearoa this week to help him start his journey. Picture by Shaan Te Kani

Growing Maori business and enterprise in Tairawhiti is the focus of workshops being delivered in Gisborne.

The Pakihi — Getting Into Business workshops provide free information and advice on starting a business as well as free mentoring to aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs.

Held at Te Wananga o Aotearoa Whirikoka Campus, the Pakihi workshops aim to get Maori into business, particularly in regions like Tairawhiti.

They are delivered by Te Wananga o Aotearoa, financial services business Crowe Howarth and Maori business eduction company Aotahi, and are supported by the Te Punaha Hiringa: Maori Innovation Fund of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Enterprise.

A workshop on Wednesday with a focus on business start-ups looked at what was needed to set up a business.

There are two further workshops within the Pakihi programme which are are aimed at people who are already established and looking to grow their business.

Local man Fred Bishop attended the Pakihi workshop in a bid to start a business that would create opportunities for at-risk youth.

He admits he was a “mischief fulla back in the day” and after going through his own struggles, decided he wanted to help kids who are where he was.

He has a passion to set up a youth centre that creates business pathways for rangatahi, which will include a clothing brand workshop, ta moko studio, barber shop and a music studio.

“I’ve had this idea in my head for two years. A few years ago, I had just done home detention. Within that whole 12 months, I was looking back at my life.

“My probation officer asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I had no goals or plans at the time.

“I started looking at my life. I have four kids and I thought, ‘I want to do something positive with my life’.

“My first idea was to open up a clothes shop. I moved from that idea to a youth centre and then I ended up having a few more ideas.

“But I thought, I’ve got to do something to help our youth. Kids are smoking P now.

“I was thinking to myself, ‘how are we going to do this?’

“I started talking to people who have been inspirational for me and they advised me to visit different places like Te Puni Kokiri and Activate Tairawhiti that help with business start-ups.

“I was then told about this workshop, and I knew I had to be here to help me with my business idea.”

Fred is seeking a business mentor and as a result of attending the Pakihi workshop, has signed up for the Smart Steps to Business course at Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

“I have this vision. I need to believe and act, and hopefully the law of attraction will work as well.

“But this workshop has helped me to see that ‘yes, it can be a reality’.”

Some 'very successful Maori businesses in Tairawhiti'

Pakihi workshop facilitator Midge Te Kani also tutors the Smart Steps to Business course, and has a passion for helping whanau work towards their goals.

“We have some very successful Maori businesses here in Tairawhiti, and we’ve had some more awesome business ideas put forward from our whanau today.

“I love supporting whanau, and helping them do what they need to do, to aspire to their dreams.

“These workshops are great for whanau wanting to start their journey.

“We do a reality check with our whanau. We get them to ask themselves: ‘Is my idea any good? Is my idea going to make me money?’

“Also there may be things like: ‘What qualifications or tickets do I need? What are the laws and regulations relating to my business? Am I going to be a sole trader or a company?’

“These are all things they need to consider.”

Another important aspect of the workshops is to encourage whanau to believe in their business goals and dreams.

“Starting a business can be daunting, so we aim to help people become informed business decision-makers, so they gain confidence.

“I say to my students, ‘you’ve walked through the door, you’re obviously keen’.

“But it’s not enough to do a one-day workshop. We encourage whanau to keep working towards their dream.

“We provide them with tools and skills to help them, but we also guide them to other services that can assist.

“We all have doubts when it comes to business, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying your idea.

“Keep your idea alive, there might be tweaking that is needed. But believe in yourself. Failure is not giving it a go.”

Growing Maori business and enterprise in Tairawhiti is the focus of workshops being delivered in Gisborne.

The Pakihi — Getting Into Business workshops provide free information and advice on starting a business as well as free mentoring to aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs.

Held at Te Wananga o Aotearoa Whirikoka Campus, the Pakihi workshops aim to get Maori into business, particularly in regions like Tairawhiti.

They are delivered by Te Wananga o Aotearoa, financial services business Crowe Howarth and Maori business eduction company Aotahi, and are supported by the Te Punaha Hiringa: Maori Innovation Fund of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Enterprise.

A workshop on Wednesday with a focus on business start-ups looked at what was needed to set up a business.

There are two further workshops within the Pakihi programme which are are aimed at people who are already established and looking to grow their business.

Local man Fred Bishop attended the Pakihi workshop in a bid to start a business that would create opportunities for at-risk youth.

He admits he was a “mischief fulla back in the day” and after going through his own struggles, decided he wanted to help kids who are where he was.

He has a passion to set up a youth centre that creates business pathways for rangatahi, which will include a clothing brand workshop, ta moko studio, barber shop and a music studio.

“I’ve had this idea in my head for two years. A few years ago, I had just done home detention. Within that whole 12 months, I was looking back at my life.

“My probation officer asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I had no goals or plans at the time.

“I started looking at my life. I have four kids and I thought, ‘I want to do something positive with my life’.

“My first idea was to open up a clothes shop. I moved from that idea to a youth centre and then I ended up having a few more ideas.

“But I thought, I’ve got to do something to help our youth. Kids are smoking P now.

“I was thinking to myself, ‘how are we going to do this?’

“I started talking to people who have been inspirational for me and they advised me to visit different places like Te Puni Kokiri and Activate Tairawhiti that help with business start-ups.

“I was then told about this workshop, and I knew I had to be here to help me with my business idea.”

Fred is seeking a business mentor and as a result of attending the Pakihi workshop, has signed up for the Smart Steps to Business course at Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

“I have this vision. I need to believe and act, and hopefully the law of attraction will work as well.

“But this workshop has helped me to see that ‘yes, it can be a reality’.”

Some 'very successful Maori businesses in Tairawhiti'

Pakihi workshop facilitator Midge Te Kani also tutors the Smart Steps to Business course, and has a passion for helping whanau work towards their goals.

“We have some very successful Maori businesses here in Tairawhiti, and we’ve had some more awesome business ideas put forward from our whanau today.

“I love supporting whanau, and helping them do what they need to do, to aspire to their dreams.

“These workshops are great for whanau wanting to start their journey.

“We do a reality check with our whanau. We get them to ask themselves: ‘Is my idea any good? Is my idea going to make me money?’

“Also there may be things like: ‘What qualifications or tickets do I need? What are the laws and regulations relating to my business? Am I going to be a sole trader or a company?’

“These are all things they need to consider.”

Another important aspect of the workshops is to encourage whanau to believe in their business goals and dreams.

“Starting a business can be daunting, so we aim to help people become informed business decision-makers, so they gain confidence.

“I say to my students, ‘you’ve walked through the door, you’re obviously keen’.

“But it’s not enough to do a one-day workshop. We encourage whanau to keep working towards their dream.

“We provide them with tools and skills to help them, but we also guide them to other services that can assist.

“We all have doubts when it comes to business, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying your idea.

“Keep your idea alive, there might be tweaking that is needed. But believe in yourself. Failure is not giving it a go.”

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