Growing Our Region

Hub available for Maori business

Exciting times are ahead for Whanganui Māori entrepreneurs. A suite of programmes are just around the corner, aimed at those in the early stages of starting a business, or who have a business idea.
The Māori Business Innovation Hub (MBH) is an integral part of the Whanganui Innovation Quarter (IQ), an initiative established under Accelerate25. The IQ will work with innovative entrepreneurs to build growth and employment in the region, aligning with the vision of Accelerate25 to improve prosperity by 2025. The purpose of the MBH is to build the success and wellbeing for Māori in alignment with kaupapa Māori.
​“We are very much looking forward to getting this initiative off the ground as it recognises that the unique Māori culture and values must be woven into business practice for sustainable success, in turn creating economic growth and employment opportunities,” says Hayden Potaka of Te Puni Kokiri.

“We see the Māori Business Innovation Hub as one which will provide an environment and programme of learning that builds capability and connections for Māori entrepreneurs, supporting them as they start out their businesses in the real world.”

The projects and programmes under the MBH have been contracted to Te Manu Atatū and Whanganui & Partners who have sub-contracted the work to consultancy firm Vapour.

A proposed three pronged approach is being considered for participants. The 10x10x10 framework features the 10-day Pop-Up Business School, the 10-week fast start programme of incubation and acceleration and the 10-month SODA LIFT, from WINTEC’s founder development programme.

“Each proposed approach provides a mix of business principles to ground entrepreneurs in the practicalities of doing business, so they can get underway and be trading in some capacity,” says Hayden.

Throughout their participation and post launch into the commercial world, entrepreneurs are supported by local advisors and mentors attuned to their conditions and situations.

“Kaupapa must be at the heart of the programme if Māori are to succeed in business, and this programme framework allows for such contextualisation,” says Hayden.

It is expected that if the programme framework is accepted, the project will start this month. 

For further information please contact Keria Ponga