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What can I get help with?

Whether you’re starting out or well established, government agencies offer a range of support — from mentoring and grants to capability building — to help small businesses succeed.

Most government programmes aim to help not with cash handouts but by boosting your skills and knowledge, or supporting innovative business ventures. Grants are available, but many are co-funded — this means you’ll have to invest at least as much money as you are given.

Beware of online grant scams that promise to help you get a grant for a fee.

Beware of online grant scams that promise to help you get a grant for a fee.

Call us on 0800 424 946 before you pay anyone any fee for any grant.

If money is your main objective, getting an investor on board might be a better option.

If money is your main objective, getting an investor on board might be a better option.

What am I eligible for?

What you can apply for largely depends on the type of industry you’re in, and the stage your business is at.

There are initiatives to help you:

  • build your capabilities though business advice, mentoring and introducing you to new networks
  • get advice and support on exporting or moving into new markets
  • innovate and develop new products and services
  • fund research and development (R&D) activities.

To get a sense of what you’re eligible for, and what will give you the best return on investment, register with the Regional Business Partner Network. (external link) An advisor will help you explore what sorts of government assistance your business might get the most benefit from.

It’s likely what will make the most difference to your business is something you weren’t previously aware of.
In most instances, a good first step is to contact your local chamber of commerce or regional business partner to discuss what your business is eligible for. You can only apply for some grants and programmes once you’ve done this.

It’s important to weigh up the potential benefits of applying vs the effort required. Most grants and initiatives involve an application process, which take time and preparation. As well as the cost of your time, some may have fees or other costs.

When applying, you need to be able to show:

  • your business plan
  • a track record of how your business is performing financially
  • a strong business case for any money or services you’re applying for
  • market research and validation if you’re a new business.

Contact details

Regional Business Partner Network

The Regional Business Partner Network has advisors up and down New Zealand. Here’s how to get in touch with your local business partner.

Northland

Northland Inc (external link)
David Templeton
Phone: +64 9 438 5110
Email: david@northlandinc.co.nz

Auckland

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (external link)
Business Support Team
Phone: +64 9 365 0510
Email: business.ateed@aucklandnz.com

Waikato

Waikato Innovation Park Limited (external link)
Craig Purcell
Phone: +64 7 857 0506
Email: craig.purcell@wipltd.co.nz

Bay of Plenty

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce (external link)
Teresa Anderson
Phone: +64 7 757 8957
Email: teresa@tauranga.org.nz

Taranaki

Venture Taranaki (external link)
Jenn Patterson
Phone: +64 6 759 5166
Email: jennifer@venture.org.nz

Tairawhiti-East Coast

Activate Tairawhiti (external link)
Jo Emerre
Mobile: +64 21 816 760
Email: jo@activatetairawhiti.co.nz

Hawke's Bay

Hawke's Bay Business Hub (external link)
Leonie Wallwork
Phone: +64 6 650 1711
Email: leonie@hbrc.govt.nz

Whanganui & Manawatu

Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) (external link)
Linda Stewart
Phone: +64 6 350 1830
Email: linda.stewart@ceda.nz

Wellington

Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) (external link)
Allison Ralph-Smith
Phone: +64 4 382 0068
Email: allison.ralph-smith@wellingtonnz.com

Marlborough, Nelson & Tasman

Nelson Regional Development Agency (external link)
Mark Maguire
Phone: +64 3 923 2053
Email: mark@nrda.co.nz

Canterbury

Canterbury Regional Business Partners Ltd (external link)
Christel Hendriks
Phone: +64 3 353 0035
Email: christel.hendriks@cdc.org.nz

West Coast

Development West Coast (external link)
Fiona Hill
Phone: +64 3 769 7000
Email: fiona@dwc.org.nz

Otago

Enterprise Dunedin (external link)
Paul Allen
Phone: + 64 3 479 0181
Email: biz@otagochamber.co.nz

Southland

Venture Southland (external link)
Alistair Adam
Phone: + 64 3 211 1416
Email: alistair@venturesouthland.co.nz

Have you visited your local regional business partner for advice?

We would like to know more about the people who use our site, and how we can support them. This will help us deliver tools, tips and advice that support advisors and are most useful for small businesses.

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