From pub to hub

Trust on mission to regenerate business in Tolaga Bay.

Trust on mission to regenerate business in Tolaga Bay.

Tolaga Bay Innovation Launch: Employment Minister Willie Jackson at the launch of Tolaga Bay Innovation — an initiative to help launch and support multiple businesses in the community. Picture by Paul Rickard

An Uawa charitable trust that evolved from a local pub has gone into partnership with the Government to boost entrepreneurship in Tolaga Bay and inspire others around the country to do the same.

Employment Minister Willie Jackson attended the launch of Tolaga Bay Innovation — a scheme that will see Tolaga Bay Inn Charitable Trust launch four new businesses and another four in the near future.

Ten businesses in total have been identified to bring the vision to life.

The initiative was launched in a geographically remote regional settlement where few traditional job or training opportunities otherwise existed, said Mr Jackson.

“It’s great to see the people of Tolaga Bay taking the lead on the regeneration of their community through self-employment and, in doing so, driving economic growth in Tolaga Bay.”

Working in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development Tolaga Bay Innovation will support people from business design and financial management through to marketing the end product.

“Tolaga Bay Inn Charitable Trust’s mission is to stimulate economic activity and bring money into the region by harnessing the skills, cultural capital and natural assets that exist in the community and surrounds,” said Mr Jackson.

“I congratulate the work that has been done by local people to bring this initiative to fruition.

“This could be a model other communities with similar challenges could adopt — helping our people to live and work where they choose while promoting and showcasing their goods and services to a national and global audience.”

A Ministry of Social Development spokeswoman said it was a pilot initiative with the primary objective of “disrupting the cycle of benefit dependence through self-employment and drive economic growth in Tolaga Bay”.

“This will be achieved by creating a locally-led wrap-around support structure that will help local people as they start businesses, aiding with business model design, value proposition development, accounting, marketing and other assistance as required, including ongoing mentoring and accountability.

“This initiative is based on internal best practice in rural and small-scale business incubation; drawing on research into entrepreneurship in developing countries, and Maori entrepreneurship.”

The programme, which will also promote Tolaga Bay as a tourist hub and promote the area’s natural and cultural assets.

It will also use social media and digital technology to build links to the world, broadening the horizons of local people and creating new opportunities to connect and do business.

The status of the 89-year-old Tolaga Bay Inn was transferred from private ownership into a charitable trust in 2017.

The inn also provides services to the community as a not-for-profit social enterprise.

An Uawa charitable trust that evolved from a local pub has gone into partnership with the Government to boost entrepreneurship in Tolaga Bay and inspire others around the country to do the same.

Employment Minister Willie Jackson attended the launch of Tolaga Bay Innovation — a scheme that will see Tolaga Bay Inn Charitable Trust launch four new businesses and another four in the near future.

Ten businesses in total have been identified to bring the vision to life.

The initiative was launched in a geographically remote regional settlement where few traditional job or training opportunities otherwise existed, said Mr Jackson.

“It’s great to see the people of Tolaga Bay taking the lead on the regeneration of their community through self-employment and, in doing so, driving economic growth in Tolaga Bay.”

Working in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development Tolaga Bay Innovation will support people from business design and financial management through to marketing the end product.

“Tolaga Bay Inn Charitable Trust’s mission is to stimulate economic activity and bring money into the region by harnessing the skills, cultural capital and natural assets that exist in the community and surrounds,” said Mr Jackson.

“I congratulate the work that has been done by local people to bring this initiative to fruition.

“This could be a model other communities with similar challenges could adopt — helping our people to live and work where they choose while promoting and showcasing their goods and services to a national and global audience.”

A Ministry of Social Development spokeswoman said it was a pilot initiative with the primary objective of “disrupting the cycle of benefit dependence through self-employment and drive economic growth in Tolaga Bay”.

“This will be achieved by creating a locally-led wrap-around support structure that will help local people as they start businesses, aiding with business model design, value proposition development, accounting, marketing and other assistance as required, including ongoing mentoring and accountability.

“This initiative is based on internal best practice in rural and small-scale business incubation; drawing on research into entrepreneurship in developing countries, and Maori entrepreneurship.”

The programme, which will also promote Tolaga Bay as a tourist hub and promote the area’s natural and cultural assets.

It will also use social media and digital technology to build links to the world, broadening the horizons of local people and creating new opportunities to connect and do business.

The status of the 89-year-old Tolaga Bay Inn was transferred from private ownership into a charitable trust in 2017.

The inn also provides services to the community as a not-for-profit social enterprise.

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