Completing the Money Management programme at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in 2018 was the kickstart Sam and Courtney Manu needed to take control of their financial future.
The young couple were able to use the knowledge that they gained from the programme to save, get out of debt, launch a business, and start investing.
“Sam and I didn’t really have much money to our names. We probably had negatives. We saved, we budgeted, we learnt how to be financially capable,” says Courtney.
Challenges were set during the programme that the Manus would complete in their daily lives, meaning their study became like less of a chore and more of a game.
The couple launched their business, Samuel Manu Plastering, in 2019 and with the help of the business programmes at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, they managed to gain the skills needed to help grow their business.
“Emotionally, the journey of starting a business is hard. You question everything. Our lecturer at the time was really good at creating an atmosphere that was non-judgmental. We expanded and learned and have acquired the best employees,” says Courtney.
With little money saved, Courtney worked on the side to help support their whānau while their business got up and running.
Starting a business was a big risk for the Manu whānau but they recognised the opportunities that owning their own business could provide, especially for their tamariki.
“I think using the kids and my family as motivation for us to actually make it work was a big part of wanting to go and start a business,” says Sam.
The couple continue to grow their business and their financial knowledge, displaying the vision of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, whānau transformation through education.
Courtney also continues to share budgeting tips and tricks with her followers on social media and has made connections within Māori and Pacific small business networks throughout Aotearoa.
“Having access to being able to understand wealth creation is a human right,” says Courtney. “Would I recommend Te Wānanga o Aotearoa? Yes. Absolutely.”