Raglan business people will soon be able to access a free advisory and support service to help their enterprise grow.

The service will be launched in Raglan early this year as a result of a partnership between the Waikato District Council’s economic development initiative, Open Waikato, and Waikato Innovation Park.

Waikato Innovation Park is the lead agency for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Callaghan Innovation funding programmes and is based at Ruakura in Hamilton. In partnership with the Council it extended a free service to businesses in Tuakau last year offering support for start-up businesses as well as advice on business expansion, export market development, research and development funding and product development.

Waikato Innovation Park business growth advisor Peter Davey said the main criteria for assistance was a desire to grow. “We’re very interested in helping local businesses that are wanting to grow, facing technical roadblocks, or looking to take on new skills that will enable business growth.”

The success of the Tuakau service has accelerated the extension of the service to Raglan. To date 11 businesses have taken advantage of the new service at the Council’s Tuakau office, and six of these have progressed with specific support programmes.

Tuakau business owner Baron Collocott is one of the 11 who have used the service so far. Mr Collocott took advantage of a free business advisory service at the Council’s Tuakau office in September 2016.

Mr Collocott says, “I chose to use the WDC service because as a small business owner striving to get ahead it helps to receive advice from those who have gone before you. I approached Open Waikato and met with Waikato Innovation Park business growth advisor Peter Davey who explained how they could assist with mentoring, business capacity planning and possible funding options.”

“I think it’s important to know that the resources are available. When you’re a small business owner, you have to be motivated to seize the opportunities.”

Mr Collocott’s business, Unseen Perspective (www.unseenperspective.co.nz), specialises in aerial drone video and photography, including wildlife and scenic photography, and real estate and commercial projects. The company is licensed to fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and “Wings” qualified through Model Flying New Zealand (MFNZ).

The Raglan service launch date will be announced shortly.


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