Reducing barriers

Helping grow East Coast businesses from home.

Helping grow East Coast businesses from home.

File picture

Hikurangi Enterprises is on a mission to bring business-savvy learning spaces to the East Coast.

The group has developed the Incubation Kohanga Programme and in conjunction with outside educators and funders will run business programmes in Ruatoria this year.

Hikurangi Enterprises general manager Mateawa Keelan says they want to cater to their whanau and remove barriers that often impact on rural communities.

“Whanau hear and read about business-focused workshops and programmes being held in Gisborne, but there’s barriers to them being able to attend — cost of travel, distance away from home, needing to be around for their children, or they don’t have anywhere to stay for two-to-three-day workshops.”

The aim of the Incubation Kohanga Programme is to support East Coast whanau in their business ideas and help them grow their business from home, using local resources with a focus on sustainability.

“It’s about looking at ways to ensure their individual business can support their own wellbeing and their whanau wellbeing for a long time,” said Mateawa.

“We know there are personal and economic barriers preventing whanau from being in business, and we aim to reduce these hurdles to even out the playing field as much as possible and give them the chance to build a successful business.”

A commitment to continually nurture local businesses from home is a point of difference, she says.

“We live and work here. We are planning with whanau to support them right through their business venture — not just putting on a workshop and leaving.

“It takes however long it takes to get a business up and running — from an innovative idea to planning for growth. It can be doable and exciting when you know you’re not going to be left to do some hard mahi (work) alone.”

As well as providing valuable information, building networks and gaining business confidence through workshops and programmes, Hikurangi Enterprises plans to support whanau in assessing if they are ready to go one step further and enrol in the Incubation Kohanga Programme.

“We have students who will be graduating from Eastern Institute of Technology Ruatoria horticulture hemp-growing course,” said Mateawa.

“Being able to give them the opportunity to gain from the business workshops is perfect timing for their own future plans — from how to produce the best product to how to build a sustainable business utilising this product.”

Workshops to continue bi-monthly

To kickstart the business initiative, a Pakihi workshop is planned for this Friday and Saturday.

Pakihi is a programme that provides free workshops and mentoring to help grow Maori businesses and enterprise throughout the country — particularly in the regions.

It is being delivered by Te Wananga o Aotearoa, financial services business Crowe Howarth and Maori business education company Aotahi, and is supported by the Maori Innovation Fund.

These workshops will continue bimonthly. May, July and September are already lined up.

The Maori Women’s Development Incorporation will run its HineBoss workshop for wahine and their whanau from April 26 to 28.

HineBoss is a three-day programme that looks at holistic ways to cover all fundamentals of starting a business, which helps people find their own answers and unleash their business potential.

The Pop up Business School will run for two weeks in the second half of the year. The school runs inspirational business training events to help people in communities start small businesses and make money doing what they love.

These will be held in Ruatoria but are open for whanau who are living anywhere on the Coast, says Mateawa.

“I’d like whanau to contact me to enrol on any one of these, or if they have any inquiries.

“I’m passionate about supporting people into business or work and I see that over time our Incubation Kohanga Programme will enable whanau to achieve these goals.

“It’s not just about getting a job anymore. It’s about having the opportunity to take your interests and talents to the level where they determine your livelihood and provide for your wellbeing.

“I’ve benefited directly from business workshops and programmes. I’ve been involved in many business and work programmes over the years, but this is the first time that I’ve had the opportunity to do this at home.”

  • For more information, contact Mateawa Keelan at (06) 864 8899 or 022 477 5927, or email m.keelan@outlook.com

Hikurangi Enterprises is on a mission to bring business-savvy learning spaces to the East Coast.

The group has developed the Incubation Kohanga Programme and in conjunction with outside educators and funders will run business programmes in Ruatoria this year.

Hikurangi Enterprises general manager Mateawa Keelan says they want to cater to their whanau and remove barriers that often impact on rural communities.

“Whanau hear and read about business-focused workshops and programmes being held in Gisborne, but there’s barriers to them being able to attend — cost of travel, distance away from home, needing to be around for their children, or they don’t have anywhere to stay for two-to-three-day workshops.”

The aim of the Incubation Kohanga Programme is to support East Coast whanau in their business ideas and help them grow their business from home, using local resources with a focus on sustainability.

“It’s about looking at ways to ensure their individual business can support their own wellbeing and their whanau wellbeing for a long time,” said Mateawa.

“We know there are personal and economic barriers preventing whanau from being in business, and we aim to reduce these hurdles to even out the playing field as much as possible and give them the chance to build a successful business.”

A commitment to continually nurture local businesses from home is a point of difference, she says.

“We live and work here. We are planning with whanau to support them right through their business venture — not just putting on a workshop and leaving.

“It takes however long it takes to get a business up and running — from an innovative idea to planning for growth. It can be doable and exciting when you know you’re not going to be left to do some hard mahi (work) alone.”

As well as providing valuable information, building networks and gaining business confidence through workshops and programmes, Hikurangi Enterprises plans to support whanau in assessing if they are ready to go one step further and enrol in the Incubation Kohanga Programme.

“We have students who will be graduating from Eastern Institute of Technology Ruatoria horticulture hemp-growing course,” said Mateawa.

“Being able to give them the opportunity to gain from the business workshops is perfect timing for their own future plans — from how to produce the best product to how to build a sustainable business utilising this product.”

Workshops to continue bi-monthly

To kickstart the business initiative, a Pakihi workshop is planned for this Friday and Saturday.

Pakihi is a programme that provides free workshops and mentoring to help grow Maori businesses and enterprise throughout the country — particularly in the regions.

It is being delivered by Te Wananga o Aotearoa, financial services business Crowe Howarth and Maori business education company Aotahi, and is supported by the Maori Innovation Fund.

These workshops will continue bimonthly. May, July and September are already lined up.

The Maori Women’s Development Incorporation will run its HineBoss workshop for wahine and their whanau from April 26 to 28.

HineBoss is a three-day programme that looks at holistic ways to cover all fundamentals of starting a business, which helps people find their own answers and unleash their business potential.

The Pop up Business School will run for two weeks in the second half of the year. The school runs inspirational business training events to help people in communities start small businesses and make money doing what they love.

These will be held in Ruatoria but are open for whanau who are living anywhere on the Coast, says Mateawa.

“I’d like whanau to contact me to enrol on any one of these, or if they have any inquiries.

“I’m passionate about supporting people into business or work and I see that over time our Incubation Kohanga Programme will enable whanau to achieve these goals.

“It’s not just about getting a job anymore. It’s about having the opportunity to take your interests and talents to the level where they determine your livelihood and provide for your wellbeing.

“I’ve benefited directly from business workshops and programmes. I’ve been involved in many business and work programmes over the years, but this is the first time that I’ve had the opportunity to do this at home.”

  • For more information, contact Mateawa Keelan at (06) 864 8899 or 022 477 5927, or email m.keelan@outlook.com
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