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1000 business start-ups from TWoA Course

Business School Director: 1000 business start-ups from TWoA business course

Keith Ikin, Director of Te Wânanga o Aotearoa’s School of Sustainable Business Management, believes that TWoA has been hugely successful in opening up education and teaching business skills to New Zealanders who have previously been sidelined from tertiary education.

The School of Sustainable Business Management is just one of the success stories of the institution. Its flagship programme, the Certificate in Small Business Management (CSBM), has alone resulted in over 1,000 business start-ups since 2003.

Furthermore, the SSBM’s students differ greatly from those that are found in ‘traditional’ business schools; less than 5 per cent of the School’s students in 2003 and 2004 came directly from secondary school. The median age of CSBM students is 36. This is reflective of the Wânanga in general.

“Most of the people who take this course are either unemployed or are workers on low-income wages. To see so many people go from a low income job or even unemployment, to setting up their own business, is truly terrific,” Ikin says.

“This is great news for New Zealand society and the economy. Over 96 per cent of businesses in New Zealand have fewer than 19 employees. These SMEs (Small and Medium sized Enterprises) are the backbone of the economy, producing around 40 per cent of the country’s economic output. And we’re increasing that figure.”

“Having more people learn how to start a sustainable business is good for themselves, good for their community and good for the country,” Ikin continues.

“But we’re being told that we can’t do it this way by the Government. On the one hand Minister Mallard is saying that he wants tertiary education to be focused on national goals, to be more innovative, more skilled and more productive – you could be forgiven for thinking he was talking about our programmes – whilst on the other hand he is threatening the livelihood of our current and future students.”

“Minister Mallard has the opportunity to build on this innovative opportunity and continue to support business education that produces results. The appointment of a Crown Commissioner and the review of how Institutions are funded and what programs are purchased by government must take this into account,” says Ikin.


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