After running a successful business with no formal business education behind her, Keita Miru got to a stage where she wanted to upskill herself and fill a few gaps she’d identified in her business plan.
She had established her activewear label Wahine Toa Apparel in 2014 and despite its initial success, she knew there were things she could be doing better. So in 2017, Keita decided to study business with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Māngere.
“At the time I was looking for mentorship and just looking to upgrade and educate myself. I think originally there were quite a few holes with the business so I joined the course,” she says.
She chose to study business with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa because of its mātauranga Māori approach to learning.
“Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is more relatable to my business because it’s Māori. I wanted to be able to relate to the tutors and be able to have a kōrero with them and be able to feel like I belong somewhere. And I wasn’t just a number.”
She says the skills she learned on the course are “absolutely” still useful three years later.
“I basically relaunched again in August this year so I got the books out and had a look at what I really needed to change,” she says.
“The behaviour of customers has changed, the industry has changed, and I basically started again. So the course definitely helped in managing all these really difficult external factors and things that the business would benefit from, that really helped.”
Keita says the business programmes at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa are particulaerly relatable to Māori and Pasifika people but would benefit people from all cultures.
“Just be honest with yourself and know that it’s okay that you don’t know everything. Put that ego aside, do the course, learn all these new skills and really just be open about everything,” she says.
“I was able to have one-on-ones with the tutors and just be open and honest and have a kōrero and they just understood you.”