Publish date: 11/12/2017

Enterprise North Canterbury’s Business Support team is celebrating a successful year, with over $100,000 issued to help local businesses improve their business skills and knowledge.

Enterprise North Canterbury (ENC) is part of the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) Regional Business Partner (RBP) network which connects ENC with business owners requiring assistance in North Canterbury. ENC then connects these businesses with resources, services or training that can meets their needs. In addition, ENC often provides business owners with up to 50% of the cost of training or coaching through NZTE funding.

When Zoe Topp, owner of Topp Stop Cafe in Amberley, was connected with Enterprise North Canterbury through the RBP network she was working 85 hours a week and facing a significant loss. Now, six months on, she’s covered all her costs and is on track for a healthy profit in the coming year.

“We’ve gone from a loss, to breaking even and now profits are climbing. I feel human again. It feels like I have a life again,” Zoe says.  

Zoe met with ENC’s Business Support Manager Miles Dalton in May 2017 after registering on the RBP website. She realised she needed help with her business but had put it off.

“My accountant told me something was wrong and I needed a mentor. I didn’t want to because in my mind that meant I couldn’t do it myself and I must be a failure. Also, I wasn’t sure I could afford it.”

Zoe’s free business capability assessment with ENC confirmed that she would benefit most from the support of a business coach so Miles put her in touch with Daniel Fitzpatrick of Business Solutions. Daniel provided help with profitability, marketing, staff issues and putting better systems in place.

“Daniel is a Rangiora-based expert in business coaching and mentoring, and comes very highly recommended by past clients,” explains Miles. “We enjoy referring businesses to him as they always come out better off for it”.

Zoe’s assessment with ENC also showed that she was eligible for funding from NZTE, who covered 50% of Daniel’s consultancy fees.

“Coaching with Daniel has paid for itself many times over already,” says Zoe. “Daniel has been able to help me see clearly what I need to do and when. My business is in control and less stressful; cash flow is easier and I have much more confidence in myself and my business.”

Between January and November this year ENC’s Business Support team, comprising Miles Dalton and Michele Wilson, has assisted 164 local businesses. Through the NZTE capability assessment scheme they have issued $112,327 worth of vouchers to help businesses upskill.

Miles said, “We are thrilled to be part of the RBP network as it enables us to sit down with businesses, grasp exactly what they need and provide measurable results for them.”

Canterbury was recently named the Region of the Year 2016-2017 at the Regional Business Partner Conference in Wellington. NZTE reviews each region’s participation in the RBP programme and issues a ‘net promoter score’ out of 100, based on the feedback from businesses assisted. Canterbury as a whole received a +71 net promoter score, while North Canterbury (a sub-region within the programme’s Canterbury group) received a net promoter score of +89.

“In short, Canterbury is the most successful provider of business support in the country,” says Miles. “And here at Enterprise North Canterbury we are well-equipped to help any business needing assistance to thrive.”

Click here to find out more about what ENC offers through the RBP network