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Programme boosts pacific people’s business skills

NEW Programme to boost pacific peoPle’s business skills

A new training programme aimed at helping Pacific people improve their business skills is being piloted by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) from next month.

NZTE Business Development Group Manager Hans Frauenlob says the five-month pilot programme aims to improve the management capability and productivity of Pacific people’s businesses and to increase the number of businesses being established by Pacific people in New Zealand.

The new programme is being run by the Pacific Business Trust (PBT) and includes group workshops and one-to-one coaching, he says.

“The Pacific population in New Zealand is expected to double in the next 50 years and we’ve recognised the need to help improve the business skills of Pacific people and to enhance prospects for the future as increasing numbers of Pacific youth enter the workforce.”

Mr Frauenlob says Pacific people are already succeeding in business across a range of sectors, but commercialising their competitive advantages, especially in the creative industries, is an acknowledged challenge.

“The Pacific community themselves have identified that small business and self-employment are promising avenues towards increasing their work prospects and returns from employment. Ultimately we hope many of the Pacific owned and/or operated businesses that this new training programme will help foster will have an export focus, generating valuable foreign exchange and jobs.”

The new training programme is aimed at Pacific people interested in starting a business or those who are newly in business and will include workshops on a range of topics such as business planning, marketing and compliance issues/costs then follow-up coaching one-on-one. The programme will be offered in Auckland and Wellington initially, then extended to other regional centres. Pacific Business Trust Chief Executive Jim Mather says his organisation is excited about the potential results from the new training programme and the NZTE/PBT partnership.

“This programme is critical to the Pacific business community as it addresses the low participation of Pacific peoples’ accessing mainstream business development and training services. Some of the historical reasons have been communication barriers and cultural issues.”

Mr Mather hopes that greater numbers of Pacific entrepreneurs will go on from this programme to more advanced training opportunities delivered by NZTE’s existing Enterprise Training Programme.

“The Pacific business community has a special contribution to make to the economic growth of New Zealand. We are ready, willing and able to make that contribution and this new training programme is a great opportunity for Pacific people.”

Editor’s Note: The Pacific Business Trust was established in 1985 as a charitable trust to increase business ownership and economic participation among Pacific peoples in New Zealand. Today the Trust is a busy, diverse and dynamic organisation offering business support and advice for small businesses. We also encourage young people to see business as a career option and promote links between arts and business.

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