Koru - Photo: Sandy Millar, Unsplash

Photo: Sandy Millar, Unsplash

So it begins! A new year, a new decade and a new opportunity for you to make your impact in the world — establish or grow your venture.

Already, in this first two weeks, we’ve seen so many of the entrepreneurs and business owners amongst the community here in the Bay of Plenty, and heard from our wider network too – Waikato, Gisborne, Rotorua and Whanganui to name a few. All are diving into 2020 recharged and recommitted to their purpose. There are great plans being put into action which leverage all the work done in 2019 to do good business which succeeds by social, environmental and financial measures.Following their lead, first up, here’s a snippet of an update from us, along with a few of the ways our social enterprise can serve you.

Support Hub for Ethical Entrepreneurs

In 2019 Venture Centre became part of the Department of Internal Affairs funded Social Enterprise Sector Development Programme named the ‘Impact Initiative’, and a participant in the provincial social enterprise Hubs Pilot. We also became a partner of The Akina Foundation representing it in the Bay of Plenty. This gave access to another network and knowledge to be delivered by local experts for local founders. In 2020 new resources to benefit you will become available with the help of these initiatives.

Alongside enterprise founders around the country who reached out to us for help — some of whom we saw  face-to-face for the first time at the 2019 Impact Unconference — the Venture Centre team and community of generous professional service providers worked with over 150 entrepreneurs here in The Bay.

BayTrust, Socialink and local corporates like Trustpower funded some support to get help to founders when and how they needed it. Every founder is unique in their offering, their impact focus and their needs as their enterprise develops. One size doesn’t fit all where impact or support is concerned, whether it is a for-profit business or profit-for-purpose enterprise.

Our coworking space, Basestation, now 3 floors of hot desks and office spaces of various sizes, welcomed new residents including; Sustainable Business Network, film and podcast makers, Kubernetes and data science experts and made the most of its new 150-person capacity event space with social, environmental, digital, impact, youth and enterprise events.

Digitally upskilling to increase enterprise success

The team co-created a successful bid for the Provincial Growth Fund, acquiring digital hub funding in our region, working with Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Priority One to do so. Stay connected for more on this to come.

These organisations, along with Tauranga City Council, also committed to relaunching PoweringON, the programme to digitally upskill and accelerate small business owner success. If you’re an owner check out this free service and all it can contribute to making your 2020 impactful;

Enabling an ecosystem of locals supporting local development

In 2020 all of these initiatives and more are set to level up – enabling more to be done to support you, in, by, with and for this community.

It is you, who contribute more value than you capture, in tangible and intangible ways to the environmental, social and economic success of our region, that this growing community of mentors, experts and coaches is here to support.

And while money is absolutely a critical piece of the puzzle, we are looking forward to working with all of you who enhance your own, and others wellbeing goals in our region in many ways.

To close, you are invited to engage and be part of growing the Venture Centre community. We look forward to you accepting opportunities to;

Drop us an email  if you’d like to;

  • redefine your growth plan with support from a coach, and while you work to scale your business, take all of your stakeholders wellbeing into account;
  • work with professional service providers to create (not diminish) environmental, social and economic value at every step of your supply chain;come and explore, start or transform into a cooperative which really makes a stand for inclusion, equality, and shared power;
  • reach out for support if you’re designing a business around your craft, and finding ways to finance your art;
  • begin measuring the benefits of your contribution to the social, environmental and economic outcomes in our region;
  • tell us what you’re excited about, as well as the challenges you’d like to overcome.

Talk to one of the core team 1on1 (no sales pitch, no cost, no agenda — just a 30-minute phone/video chat to share ideas, address a challenge)Finally, we’re always open to your ideas on how together, as a community, we can rethink ways to support and harness ethical entrepreneurship and digital tools. To make change of the kind we want and need in the Bay drop in at @Basestation, our coworking space, ask for one of the Venture Centre team, and we’ll shout you a coffee from Folk:)

Onwards and upwards!


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