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500 businesses enrolled for Enterprise Training

Media Release 23 July 2004

500 Coast businesses now enrolled for Enterprise Training

In September 2003 The West Coast Development Trust took over delivery of the Enterprise Training Programme on the West Coast. Since then, an additional 193 local business clients have enrolled in the programme, achieving a total of 500 local businesses now registered for training. By mid next year, The Development Trust expects to have over 700 local businesses actively participating in the programme.

The Enterprise Training Programme is one of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s key initiatives, designed to improve the management capability of small to medium enterprises - those that are personally owned, have less than 20 employees and are not part of a larger business organisation - to help them grow their businesses. Participation in the programme is free. All small businesses on the Coast are invited to register with The Development Trust, including those planning to start a new business.

The training programme identifies and registers eligible business owners/operators and delivers a series of 3 hour workshops on business planning, sales & marketing, accounting & finance, e-commerce and other subjects. Follow-up coaching sessions are conducted with clients to apply the skills learned in the workshops. The Development Trust also provides confidential individual business mentoring and referral to other training and business assistance programmes where necessary.

Training Workshops doubled
In 2001, 25 training workshops were held on the Coast - in Westport, Greymouth and Hokitika. In 2002, 28 workshops were held, with Reefton being included for the first time. In the nine months to 30 June 2004 The Development Trust delivered 52 workshops, extending locations to Franz Josef and Haast. Plans are in hand to extend coverage to Karamea and Fox Glacier in the coming year.

Most businesses that register for training are small, with less than 5 staff. They range from sole traders working from home to produce handmade products, to holiday park owners catering for up to 150 guests per night in the tourist season. A large percentage of enrolled businesses are directly or indirectly related to the rapidly developing tourism industry on the Coast, reflecting the high growth of this activity in the region.

All new clients are met by a Trust representative and interviewed to discuss their training needs; previously registered clients are also progressively being followed up. Many clients attend a series of training workshops, well above the national average of three workshops per client reported by NZTE; dozens have already received confidential individual business mentoring and others have recently started the application process to The Development Trust for development funding. The Development Trust hope’s that more clients will follow this pathway as small to medium enterprises will form the basis of much of the Coast’s future economic growth.


#ENDS


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