AUT and Northland Inc, the regional economic development agency, are pooling their resources to launch a business accelerator programme aimed at enhancing Māori entrepreneurship.
Te Kōrau weaves Māori perspectives and values in, to focus on building entrepreneurial capability and validating sustainable business ideas. The pilot programme will run in the Hokianga region on Northland’s west coast, with more planned to follow during early 2020.
“The programme will help to equip aspiring entrepreneurs in Northland with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action and develop a passion into a sustainable, thriving business,” said Joseph Stuart, General Manager, Business Innovation and Growth at Northland Inc.
“There’s no shortage of ideas, or entrepreneurially-minded people with the potential or drive to make those ideas happen in Northland. What is lacking is a support system for people who are at an early stage with their business or business idea, a framework that will nurture, develop and accelerate that potential.
“People have dabbled in trying to correct that situation, but until now there’s been no focused programme to support or invigorate Māori entrepreneurship when you are just starting out. Te Kōrau will help to bridge what has become a huge gap in our region. It will play an important foundational role in building entrepreneurial capability and stimulating the creation of new businesses.”
Te Kōrau is the first Māori contextualised version of the global CO.STARTERS programme, which boasts an impressive track record. AUT has been running CO.STARTERS since 2016 and, during that time, the programme has built up budding entrepreneurs through to the wider business community. The programme forms an essential part of AUT’s strategy, aimed at strengthening support for students to start their own businesses and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set.
“Collaborating with AUT on this programme is the perfect fit for us; it’s exciting because it’s something we’ve been looking to do for a while now,” Stuart added. “We don’t have a strong university research base here in Northland, and the breadth of AUT’s networks – it is New Zealand’s second biggest university – and its extensive entrepreneurial engagement will undoubtedly be something we can tap into. AUT’s support in delivering this programme will be invaluable.”
Stuart explained that the partnership involves plans to train a group of local facilitators and community champions who would help deliver Te Kōrau in the future and assist in getting businesses off the ground. “This project really ticks all the boxes for us and aligns perfectly with our desire to build stronger cohorts and create positive outcomes for Māori businesses and entrepreneurs, which is one of our key strategic focus areas.”
In the short term, he added, the immediate objectives of the initiative were to expand personal capacity for generating ideas, to broaden individual perceptions of market opportunities, and to build a regional entrepreneurial ecosystem through collaboration rather than competition by working alongside existing networks, communities and services.
“Ultimately, we want to grow Māori enterprises and increase the number of SME’s in the region that can scale into medium and large-sized businesses while, at the same time, enhancing the attractiveness of Northland as a place to live and work.”
An introductory workshop will be held at Rawene Town Hall on Thursday 24 October (5-7pm). The pilot programme is set to take place at Pa Te Aroha Marae over the weekends of 16 November and 6 December.
E whakakotahi nei te mana whakawhanake ōhanga o Te Tai Tokerau, a Northland Inc, rāua ko Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makaurau (AUT) i ā rāua rauemi e rewa ai tētahi hōtaka whakahohoro pakihi e whai nei ki te whakapakari i te rakahinonga Māori.
Ko tā Te Kōrau he whiri i ngā tirohanga me ngā mātāpono Māori, otirā he aronui ki te whakawhanake i ngā āheinga rakahinonga, ki te whakamana anō i ngā whakaaro pakihi ka toitū. Ka whakahaerehia te hōtaka whakatauira i te rohe o Te Hokianga, i Te Tai Tamatāne o Te Tai Tokerau, ā, he mea anō ka whakahaerehia hei ngā rangi tōmua o te tau 2020.
"Ka āwhina te hōtaka i ērā o Te Tai Tokerau e hiahia ana ki te tū hei rakahinonga, kia riro ai i a rātou ngā māramatanga, ngā whanaungatanga, ā, me ngā taputapu anō e tika ana e taea ai te whakaaro te whakatinanahia, otirā, e whakawhanaketia ai tētahi ara ngākaunui hei pakihi toitū, hei pakihi whai hua nui," ko tā te Manahautū o te pito Auaha Pakihi, Whakatupu Pakihi o Northland Inc, ko tā Joseph Stuart.
"He nui tonu ngā whakaaro, otirā, te hunga he rakahinonga nei ngā whakaaro, kei a rātou hoki te pito mata, te kaha rāini ki te whakatinana i aua whakaaro ki Te Tai Tokerau. Ko te mea e ngaro ana ko tētahi pūnaha tautoko mō ērā kātahi nei ka tīmata te ara ki ā rātou pakihi, ki ō rātou whakaaro pakihi rāini, otirā, ko tētahi anga hei poipoi, hei whakawhanake, hei whakahohoro anō i te whakatinanatanga o taua pito mata.
"Arā ētahi kua wāhi whai ki te rongoā i taua tūāhua, heoi anō, tae noa mai ki tēnei wā, kāore tonu he hōtaka e aro pū ana ki te tautoko, ki te whakahihiko rāini i te rakahinonga Māori mō te hunga tauhou ki tēnei ara. Mā Te Kōrau e āwhina te rongoātia o tēnei korenga nui i tō tātou rohe. He mahi taketake matua ka oti i a ia i tāna tautoko i te whakawhanaketanga mai o ngā āheinga rakahinonga, ā, i tāna whakaoreore anō i te whakaritenga mai o ētahi pakihi hou."
Ko Te Kōrau te tuatahi o tētahi whakahāngaitanga ki te ao Māori o te hōtaka ā-ao o CO.STARTERS, tērā kua hau nei ōna rongo mō tōna angitū. Kua whakahaerehia e AUT te hōtaka o CO.STARTERS mai anō i te tau 2016, ā, mai anō i taua wā, kua tautokohia e te hōtaka he tauira rakahinonga tae rā anō ki ētahi atu i te whānuitanga o te hapori pakihi. He wāhi matua te hōtaka o te rautaki a AUT, e whai nei kia whakapakarihia ngā taunakitanga ki te hunga ākonga kia tīmataria ai ā rātou ake pakihi, otirā, kia rakahinonga ai ngā whakaaro.
"Mahi tika mārika ana tā mātou mahi tahi ki a AUT ki tēnei hōtaka; he mea whakaihiihi tā te mea kua roa mātou e whai ana kia pēnei," tā Stuart. "Ehara i te mea he tino pakari te tūāpapa rangahau ā-whare wānanga i konei i Te Tai Tokerau, heoi anō, e kore e kāhore ka āhei tā mātou toro ki te whānuitanga o ngā torotoronga o AUT - koia ko te tuarua o ngā whare wānanga nui katoa o Aotearoa - ā, ki ōna hononga rakahinonga anō. He tino taonga te tautoko a AUT kia whakahaerehia ai tēnei hōtaka."
Ko tā Stuart, ko tētahi wāhi o te kaupapa nei ko te whai kia whakangungua tētahi rōpū kaiwhakahaere, pou hapori anō o te rohe, kia āwhina ai rātou i te tukuhanga o Te Kōrau ā ngā rā kei tua, otirā, kia āwhina anō ai i te whakarewanga o ētahi pakihi hou. "Ka oti i tēnei kaupapa ō mātou whāinga katoa, otirā, e hāngai pū ana ki tō mātou hiahia kia whakawhanaketia he kāhui pakari ake, kia whakaritea anō he hua pai mō ngā pakihi me ngā rakahinonga Māori, ā, koia ko tētahi o ngā wāhi rautaki matua e aronuitia ana e mātou."
Hei tāpiri atu māna, ko ngā whāinga mō te kaupapa hei ngā rā kei mua tata tonu i te aroaro, ko te whakawhānui i te āheinga o te tangata ki te whakarite whakaaro, ko te whakawhānui anō i ngā tirohanga takitahi ki ngā ara whai hua ā-ōhanga, ā, ko te whakatupu i tētahi pūnaha rauropi rakahinonga mō te rohe mā roto mai i te mahi tahi, kaua te whakataetae. Ka pēnei mā te mahi ngātahi ki ngā torotoronga, ki ngā hapori, ki ngā ratonga anō o te wā nei.
"I te mutunga iho, e whai nei mātou kia tupu ko ngā hinonga Māori, kia nui ake hoki ngā SME i te rohe ka taea te tupu anō hei pakihi wawaenga, hei pakihi nunui hoki, heoi, e whakatairanga ana anō i te pai o Te Tai Tokerau hei wāhi noho, hei wāhi mahi hoki."
Ka whakahaerehia tētahi kaupapa ako hei tīmatanga ki te Hōro Matua o Rāwene hei te Tāite, te 24 o Oketopa (5-7pm). Ka whakahaerehia te hōtaka whakatauira ki Pā Te Aroha Marae hei ngā mutunga wiki o te 16 o Noema me te 6 o Tīhema.