Smart Steps to Business

  • Level 3
  • 20 weeks - full-time
  • No fees

Programme overview:

If you’ve always wanted to work for yourself but don’t know where to start – this programme can help you get your business goals off the ground.

Smart Steps to Business is for people wanting to start a business or those who already have a hobby business and want to know if it’s feasible to grow.

Learn how to identify business opportunities, evaluate your ideas, write an establishment plan and prepare to launch your business.

You’ll also gain a clear understanding of the steps required to take your business from an initial idea through to an actual business.

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

  • New Zealand Certificate in Business (Introduction to Small Business) Level 3

You’ll learn about:

  • identifying business opportunities
  • creating an establishment plan
  • evaluating the feasibility and viability of your business opportunity
  • understanding the legal and operational requirements of a business

You'll be able to:

  • identify and evaluate business opportunities that are relevant in terms of own abilities, interests, and preferences
  • develop an establishment plan that assesses the feasibility and viability of a small business opportunity
  • identify technology needs to effectively operate a small business
  • assess the importance of business relationships with stakeholders, for a small business
  • behave professionally and ethically, and in a socially and culturally responsible manner, and apply personal and interpersonal skills to contribute to the assessment of small business opportunities


The purpose of this qualification is to provide Aotearoa with people who will be able to assess small business opportunities.

They will be able to explore and assess opportunities and understand requirements for establishing 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 20 weeks. Throughout the programme you will be required to attend:

  • 1 x 3-hour class per week
  • workshops (approximately 2 hours per week)
  • 1 x 7-hour wānanga

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

  • 25 hours per week

Some learning activities will need to be completed online. You’ll need to have access to an internet-connected device to participate in this programme.


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

Entry criteria:

To enrol in this programme, a potential student must:

  • be at least 16 years of age
  • be a New Zealand citizen or resident (or citizen of Australia, Tokelau, Niue or the Cook Islands)
  • be a graduate of a Level 2 qualification (or higher) or demonstrate numeracy and literacy competence

Where will this take me?

I want to keep studying

Enrol in our Level 4 business programme.

I want to use my qualification

You'll be able to go into business for yourself or use your skills in a range of other employment pathways.

Kōnae Ako (Learning Modules):

He Kōwhiringa Pakihi - Business Opportunities | 9 Credits 

In this kōnae ako, tauira (students) identify relevant business opportunities and evaluate business opportunity based on their current personal situation and skills. Tauira then develop a basic strategic overview for a business establishment plan. 

Te Tātari Pakihi - Business Analysis | 12 Credits 

This kōnae ako looks at analysing the feasibility of a business opportunity, given the external environment and existing competition. Tauira will develop the marketing aspect of their business and evaluate alternative strategies for developing a business, taking into account the results of an external analysis.  

Te Whakahaere Pakihi - Business Operations | 18 Credits

This kōnae ako introduces tauira to the compliance requirements of a business. Tauira will also think about assets required for their business, premises, learn the importance of business relationships, demonstrate the kaupapa of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and identify technology options for their business operations. 

Te Mahere Whakatū Pakihi - Business Establishment Plan | 21 Credits

In this final kōnae ako, tauira will complete a basic financial analysis for their business opportunity. Tauira will produce and present a business establishment plan. A key component of this kōnae ako will involve presenting a business idea to potential internal and external stakeholders. 

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