A new nationwide series of free business workshops and mentoring programmes to help Māori grow their business ideas was launched at Hopuhopu last month.
The programme - which includes 200 business workshops from Kaitaia to Invercargill - is being delivered by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and business partners Crowe Horwath and Aotahi, with support from the Māori Innovation Fund.
Pakihi was launched by the Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta at the Waikato-Tainui Endowed College for Research and Development.
She told the participants in the first Pakihi workshops and other guests at the launch that the business enterprise space is “the heartbeat of the Māori economy,” which is estimated to be worth around $50 billion and growing.
“This is the Government’s commitment around Māori enterprise development. We’re all trying to converge our efforts to ensure that your idea can be supported to grow in a way that can help you create opportunities for your whānau and your comunity, your hapū and your iwi.”
The Government supports Pakihi through He Kai Kei Aku Ringa, the Crown-Māori Economic Development Strategy.
Thirty Waikato Māori business signed up for the initial Pakihi workshops, including Danny Beattie from Kaha Energy Solutions.
He hopes Pakihi will help support the company to develop a marketing plan and a website so it can develop further employment opportunities for tribal members and be the preferred electrical contractor for Tainui.
Pakihi - which means business in te reo Māori - is targeted at three different phases of business growth.
Whakarautia – Pre-startup – is for Māori who are not yet in business, but are motivated or curious and keen to take the next step.
Te Uma represents businesses which have been operating for between one and 18 months. The Te Uma workshops are focused on improving profitability, marketing and networking.
The third group is titled Whānaua, or growth. The growth workshops provide training to help businesses increase either their number of employees, their product or service offerings or expanding to more locations.
Following the launch, workshops will be rolled out nationwide in the coming months.
For more information, or to register, go to www.pakihi.co.nz