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Pop Up Business School Supports budding entrepreneurs

Business Hawke’s Bay hosted the pop up Rebel Business School Aotearoa supporting the region’s budding entrepreneurs, as part of its economic and social development, and regional recovery initiatives at Hastings HIVE.

Funded by Business Hawke’s Bay, Hastings District Council, Napier City Council, Ministry of Social Development, and Te Puni Kōkiri, the Rebel Business School Aotearoa is a fantastic opportunity for those with a business idea to get relevant information and coaching.

Greater innovation and entrepreneurship will unlock Hawke’s Bay’s and New Zealand’s full potential, and Hawke’s Bay needs a strong multi-pronged base of support to help our entrepreneurs and those with business ideas to get started and keep going.

Designed to support the establishment of new businesses, and closely aligned to the economic growth objectives of Matariki – Hawke’s Bay Regional Development Strategy for economic, inclusive and sustainable growth, Rebel Business School delivers 20 workshops designed to equip participants with the tools they need to start their own business.

More than 44 people enrolled for the ten days of free learning with attendees coming from a wide range of businesses including food and beverage, healthcare, art and design and events and marketing.

Budding entrepreneurs also shared a short pitch for their business opportunity at the finale at Hastings HIVE.

From Waikato and of Ngāti Maniaopoto descent, Katarina is on a mission to help reduce New Zealand’s infant mortality rate, through wahakura, a woven flax bassinet that creates a safe shared sleeping space for babies in their parents’ bed.

A former teacher, and a talented traditional weaver, Katarina was encouraged by Hawke’s Bay’s Dr David Tipene-Leach to begin weaving wahakura. David led a research team which applied mātauranga Māori (traditional Māori knowledge) to create the wahakura, to address the problem of sudden unexpected death in infancy, a statistic in which Māori infants are over-represented.

Becoming a wahakura weaver is a passion, says Katarina. “I could weave kete and baskets, but as soon as I learnt to weave wahakura I fell in love with it. I don’t want to weave anything else.

“I heard about RBS from the small business course I am completing. I found RBS really good. It was great to connect with people who are starting a small business, like me. The motivational local speakers were amazing and it was great to learn from their experience.

“I’m already applying what I learned and am starting to build more of a personal relationship with my customers. My plan is to grow sustainably and to teach people to weave their own wahakura,” says Katarina.