Certificate in Small Business

  • Level 4
  • 18 weeks - full-time
  • No fees

Programme overview:

Whether you’re in business or are just starting one, this programme will give you the skills and knowledge to build and run a business. It provides you with an overview of all the different aspects of running a small business and will give you the confidence to take your business further.

Throughout the programme, you’ll create a comprehensive business plan that will put you on the path to success. This is a hands-on practical programme designed by small business owners for people wanting to take the next step on their own small business journey.

When you pass this programme, you’ll get this qualification:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Business (Small Business) Level 4

You'll learn about:

  • small business structures
  • business planning and operations
  • human resources 
  • IT planning
  • stakeholder relationships
  • marketing and research
  • small business accounting and finance
  • risk management 
  • creating a business plan

You'll be able to:

  • Develop a business plan for a small business, which is suitable for external stakeholders, and which addresses management of finances, HR, marketing, technology, relationships with stakeholders, sources of information and support.
  • Operate and manage a small business to improve business performance and meet stakeholder requirements.
  • Behave professionally and ethically and in a socially and culturally responsible manner, and apply personal and interpersonal skills to manage a small business.

Graduates of this qualification will be able to establish, operate, grow and sustain a small business in Aotearoa. They’ll be able to apply business skills and knowledge to a small business, in accordance with ngā kaupapa o te Tiriti o Waitangi (the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi), and in a multi-cultural environment.

How you'll study:

This is a full-time programme that consists of 60 credits delivered over 18 weeks. Throughout the programme you will be required to attend:

  • weekly classes and workshops (5 hours per week)
  • 1 x 6-hour wānanga (workshop)

In addition to these attendance hours, you’ll be expected to complete learning activities designed to enhance your learning for approximately:

  • 28 hours per week

Tauira will need to engage in the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa digital platform iAkoranga throughout the programme. Internet access and a digital device is needed to enhance the tauira learning  experience.

In some locations this programme may be provided by an approved sub-contract arrangement.

Entry criteria:

To enrol in this programme, a potential tauira must:

  • be at least 16 years of age
  • be a New Zealand citizen (or citizen of Australia, Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands) or permanent resident
  • reside in New Zealand
  • be a graduate of a Level 3 qualification (or higher) OR
  • demonstrate competence in a literacy exercise that reflects the comprehension and writing abilities for the programme


  • satisfy one of the following requirements:
    • have a business idea which they are ready to develop
    • be an existing business owner, or be involved in the management of an existing small business for which they can develop a detailed business plan

Where will this take me?

I want to keep studying

Learn to grow your business with our next-level programme, the Diploma in Small Business and Project Management Level 5.

I want to use my qualification

You'll graduate with NZQA-approved qualifications to show your skills and knowledge to run your own business.

Kōnae Ako (Learning Modules):

Introduction to Small Business | 9 Credits

This kōnae ako provides an introduction to small business, starting with the foundational values such as the mission/vision and purpose. It will cover small business structures, descriptions, strategies and internal and external analysis and strategic profiles (including sources of information and support).

Business Operations | 13 Credits

This kōnae ako involves the development of various operations-related plans to aid in the completion of a section of a business plan. This includes operations, human resource aspects such as employment responsibilities, and developing an assets and information technology plan.

Business Marketing | 12 Credits

This kōnae ako covers fundamental marketing concepts including target markets, positioning and the components of the marketing mix. Tauira will prepare a research brief, a marketing plan including a marketing goal and objectives, with the intention to improve business performance. They will also develop a customer relationship management plan that meets stakeholder requirements.

Business Finance | 15 Credits

In this kōnae ako, tauira learn about the practical aspects of small business accounting and bookkeeping processes. This includes record keeping, completing GST returns, and complying with income tax and depreciation requirements, as well as understanding financial reports. Financial planning is also covered within this kōnae ako, with tauira completing a cashflow and profit forecast and identifying the financing needs of the business.

Business Planning | 11 Credits

In this final kōnae ako, tauira look into future personal and professional growth opportunities to help them improve their business performance. They develop a risk management plan as the last segment of their business plan and then combine all the aspects developed throughout the programme to finalise their business plan which will include preparing a stakeholder presentation resource using presentation software such as PowerPoint etc. for future use, then giving a short presentation.

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