In May 2020, in the midst of New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown an important milestone for the Hawke’s Bay business community slipped by, unnoticed.
Opened five years earlier, in May 2015, by the then Minister of Economic Development Stephen Joyce, Hawke’s Bay Business Hub Ahuriri, has spent the past half decade as a unique, highly regarded example of regional collaboration, supporting thousands of businesspeople and businesses along the way.
Commenced as key initiative of Business Hawke’s Bay with the aim of unleashing the region’s business potential, the Hub has a vibrant member community, comprising 17 business support agencies, providing many business support services across the region.
The Hub is a one-stop-shop for business. It’s place where businesspeople come to learn, share, connect and grow their business skills. In addition, the Hub is a well appointed and modestly priced co-working, meeting and training venue. With everything and everyone in one central location, it’s very easy to find out about, and to access business growth and support services.
Hub members include Hawke’s Bay Regional Business Partners, Business Mentors NZ, Callaghan Innovation, Business Hawke’s Bay, Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, NZ Food Innovation Network, Business Central, Export New Zealand, Te Puni Kōkiri, The Icehouse, Te Taiwhenua o Te Whanganui-a-Orotū, Young Enterprise Scheme, and economic development officers from local councils.
The model is unique, as far as we know, and recognised nationally as an outstanding model of regional collaboration. Nowhere else in New Zealand have as many business support agencies come together under one roof to collaborate and connect. It’s about working together to provide the best possible support to our business community. Because when business wins, so do we.
Activation of the Business Hub is a key deliverable under Pou 4 Economic Growth of Matariki, Hawke’s Bay’s Regional Development Strategy for economic, inclusive and sustainable growth. Supporting our businesses and sectors to grow, and to be innovative, productive, sustainable and inclusive is a major focus of Matariki HBREDS. The objective is to create a comprehensive enterprise and entrepreneurial support eco-system for start-ups, small and medium business and Māori business, to strengthen the regional economy, and to develop more skilled and higher value jobs,.
In the Hawke’s Bay Business Hub we have the infrastructure and the community of support agencies not only gathered, but engaged, to help the region and its businesses to succeed. We have a resource that our region can be tremendously proud of. Many thanks to the Hub’s member agencies for the enormous role they play in supporting and helping to develop the capability, innovation and productivity of our business community, and to the funders and commercial partners who, through the funding of Business Hawke’s Bay, make the Hub possible.
As we look forward to the next five years, we are excited to share the news that Hawke’s Bay Business Hub will soon be establishing a presence in Hastings, with the support of Hastings District Council. After five years of very successful operation across the region, it is great to be extending the physical presence of Hawke’s Bay Business Hub to Hastings.
The impact of COVID-19 on our regional business community gave impetus to delivering Hawke’s Bay Business Hub Hastings quickly and effectively to support business across the region. It aligns Hastings District Council’s plan to support business recovery and to enable access to business support services in Hastings. Hawke’s Bay Business Hub Hastings is planned to be part of a wider geographical presence for Hawke’s Bay Business Hub (a hub and spoke model) in the region as we work towards a Business Hub presence in Waipukurau, Wairoa and at the planned FoodEast Innovation Hub.
Hawke’s Bay Business Hub Hastings is a pilot programme operating initially from November ’20 to June ’21. The aim of delivering a pop-up was to enable establishment of service delivery in a very timely way, drawing on learnings from the management and activation of the HB Business Hub Ahuriri and to ascertain ongoing demand levels and needs.
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