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Minister launches fashionIncubator

Consumer Affairs Minister Phillida Bunkle has launched a new initiative to get New Zealand's fledgling fashion designers into business.

Speaking at the launch of the fashionIncubator in Auckland tonight, Phillida Bunkle said young and new designers are struggling to find the support and nurturing they need to kick-start their careers.

"Many graduates are forced to take on other jobs to finance their design work, and others have lacked an outlet to market their creations. In many cases, finding the cash they need to start a business has just been a dream.

"This is changing, and this government is committed to helping small, innovative, sustainable businesses succeed. This is the first incubator initiative of its type in New Zealand and is exactly what the new Ministry of Economic Development is all about. Incubators use the synergies of shared overheads and active mentoring to leverage new talent into a growth industry."

Phillida Bunkle said the fashionIncubator will remove many of the hurdles design school graduates have faced in the past.

"As well as offering a home base, this initiative will help create real job and business opportunities for talented new designers.

"This is the kind of talent that will also be nurtured by the government's economic development programme, and the fashionIncubator concept creates an ideal springboard for growth."

Based in the heart of High Street, Auckland’s fashion epicentre, the space allows emerging designers to work alongside those already gaining international recognition for their work.

FashionIncubator designers also have access to free financial and technical advice, mentors and design experts.

"I congratulate the Aotearoa Charitable Trust for Fashion Designers for making this scheme a reality," Phillida Bunkle said.

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