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Start-ups

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IHi, I’m a NZ Maori from wanganui now residing in Northland and for the past 8 years, I have been the proud owner of small community Auto Body Repair shop. The first 3 years were the best and things look promising,  Client base was growing, positive feedback and most of all I was enjoying what I was creating. But suddenly I came to a dramatic realisation of how much i myself, business and the outcome of my family was, and is defined, determined and controlled by, the term I’ll  use is white collar gangsters. I as the small fish trying to swim, had come to realise that my hourly charge out rate is controlled and governed by third parties and can only be reassessed by being able to meet a criteria that doesn’t effect my quality of craftsmanship or capabilities but essentially I needed to invest at least $100,000 before these parties consider giving any more than a $52hr +gst rate and they have no intention on paying any more until I meet there requirements. Where i was based in there eyes also contributed to there reason for that low rate. That rate has been the same for me the whole time I’ve been trading and there’s only so much genuine private work available where clients actually have money which makes a guaranteed $52+ seem better than clients not paying at all. I persevered and my partner began to pursue her career also being a chef, she still is today and now head chef of a successful local small town bar n grille where she began. Things were looking good for my family but my business began to struggle with less hours on tools compensated by being where I was needed at home with our kids. I don’t regret her perusing her career at all, it’s what’s kept us afloat over the past 1 and a half years to be honest as changes need to be made by decreasing business expenses, I decreased my workshop by a third and utilized the space better and not jeopardizing production capabilities. I invested in a removable wall to achieve it, then I immediately get a rent increase. My landlord believed the price I was paying originally is where it should be even after my area being decreased exactly by a third. Then is when I new I had to move, I have learnt that if there is an opportunity for gain where the dominant position is the reason to be capable of gaining, weather it’s right or wrong to do so, greed comes into effect and deems the situation to be ok and their right because they can. Morals and respect to grow together are very dim in this modern world as I’m led to believe my positions of success in growth must not grow and im to stay right where i am, a small fish. I found a new place to lease that I could work from and also on the property was a house at a later dater my family and I rented also. Better for myself with having family at home meters from my workshop and partner still able to pursue her career, total overheads for combined rents decreased by 35%. All was looking up other than my ex landlord being upset because I relocated and made my life difficult with moving out. Things were promising,  but one thing that didn’t occur to me was that I had to build a new client base with my new location being 15km away from my previous and closer to another. My workshop was less appealing and took a lot of work but never gained where I would have liked it to be.  Business was tough, it was as if I started again but with no reputation of my capabilities in the new town. Then suddenly, an international epidemic, covid19. I was already on the back foot and this just crushed my chances of being able to get back to how I felt in  my 3rd year of trading as. Customers wanted their cars and some demanded their down paymentsreturned also. After coming out of level 4, we had basically relied on purely my small income I had made and government contributions which barely got us on par with bills and food and it essentially became the icing on the cake with financial difficulties  and being in arrears with rent. Essentially my arrears also contributed towards my landlord’s decision  but he also was feeling the pressure witch brand him to a conclusion of selling the property. We were given 6 weeks to be out of the house and workshop in an area where the campgrounds and hotels are full of families and slackers receiving emergency housing benefits. I had hit rock bottom, my highest priority was finding somewhere safe to house my family and I couldn’t even do that. No family around to help and I haven’t come from a financially secure background to ask for help. I was looking to take our kids out of school to move to the nearest available rent that would accept us. 5 days before we had to move out, a new client I served stopped in for a chat as I was still working and kindly enough offered my family n I to share his home with him, with total separate living areas. Unsure but keen as, we went out to view his home, it was an absolute mess but had no other option, I kept my glass half full and new with a bit of TLC and rubbish dumps,we can make it feel like home and began moving in. This was mid November 2020. Since moving then till present 25.3.21 I’ve not done much business from where I reside, I’ve become somewhat depressed about the whole scenario with where I have ended up and to an extent, my pride has been destroyed and believe I gave it a good shot, always room for improvemen tho but most of all what I know now about business and the disgusting behavior man obtain in this area of life and they prey on individuals that are uneducated like I once was. I’m glad I now have the knowledge of having a business sense of relationship between fellow future associates, but I look around, and want to believe that wealth can be made with a humble heart, not by plotting a scheme to lure anothers dollar,  and if he can persuade him of $1, he will manipulate, or convince him by blinding tru motive and inevitably when necessary, squeeze him in the corner where he is obligated and in a position where he must give in to the power tripping conditions and a sense of having to accept due to hidden agenders within agreements. through my experience, you do need money to make money. If I could, I’d do it all again but totally different with the knowledge I have now. I wouldn’t advise someone to do it without sharing my story. My question after my 8year breakdown is, should I persist in this avenue and try to get out of the mud onto green grass or am I wasting  my time without the backing needed to allow my business to grow. Personally, I believe my line of career is governed to much by million dollar companies and limited to growth. I didn’t know that fact when I was wanting to start my business, I jus liked the sound of the more I work the more I make, but! There is a more suitable alley for where my heart lays but once again, money is needed to make it. What would you do considering these circumstances and experiences

Question submitted by @btp 25/03/2021 @ 8:54 am

Where can I find funding to help kickstart my business?

Question submitted by @nevertheless-nz 06/03/2021 @ 11:36 am

Kia ora, I currently work in the early year’s space focusing on early childhood development and in particular have a passion for the acquisition of te reo Māori as foundational for Māori health and wellbeing. I have been researching a gap in the education landscape for the provision of quality bilingual and immersion EC options for whānau/family. Whānau are currently having to wait for available spaces to access local Kura Kaupapa Māori placements, drive long distances to access quality providers, or place their children in English medium.Home-based EC care is the fastest-growing section of the EC sector, constituting 65% of total growth in the market since 2007. Whilst the provision of home-based care offers more options, inconsistent quality is a major issue.  70% of providers have no formal teaching qualification, 22% have a lvl 3 qualification and only 7% of providers are fully trained.  The Minister for Ed, C. Hipkins, announced in 2019 a number of policy changes to regulate the home-based market.  The policy requires home-based providers to work toward a level 4 EC qualification & submit to ERO review.Without sufficient support to level up, many home-based providers will struggle to meet these requirements for ongoing funding.  Māori providing bilingual or immersion services will be most impacted as the equivalent qualification is the level 5 kōhanga reo qual.  Formal teacher training opportunities don’t cater well for home-based providers who don’t get relief time to study or can’t afford it.  My business idea is to create a hub called Kainga Tupu (HomeGrown), which aims to develop the Māori home-based EC care provider workforce and enable continuous improvement. The hub would support Māori providers to link to teacher training options through micro-credentialing so they can meet the policy requirement of working towards a level 5 qualification. The hub would also be a digital platform to access: peer-to-peer support; professional teaching supervision; subject matter knowledge around child development; experts in te reo and tikanga; assessment & audit support to meet ERO standards, etc.The long-game is to impact Māori health and wellbeing by growing quality te reo Māori learning environments for pēpi and tamariki Māori to have early access to their language, culture, and identity.  The toxic-stress on whānau Māori would reduce from having readily available options. The growth in Māori practitioners to provide te reo based EC options will meet the growing demand for te reo Māori language acquisition.  Digital badging supports workforce development to address the qualification gap. Digital servicing through the hub will mean that service quality is flexible and accessible; it also provides for business continuity in the current Covid climate. So what advice do I need from the gurus at Manaaki?  Well, if I was to develop an investment proposal around this idea, where would be the best place to take it? Should I try to attract philanthropic investment to support the initial development & test/evaluate it as a model for quality improvement over 2 years?  Are there government funding options for this type of initiative? Other funding streams? If the model works locally could it be scalable nationally & beyond?  Kia ora and thanks for your advice/assistance.

Question submitted by @anonymous 27/08/2020 @ 10:10 pm

Hey there team. It’s Toby here a 20 year old student from The University of Auckland. I started working on my start-up EasyRent earlier this year and released it to the public in September. In short, we are the first platform in New Zealand tailored to connecting students and landlords. Our point of difference is we are the only platform that allows students to rent properties during their university calendar year from February-November (9-months). Rather than getting stuck in a 12-month lease and having to pay over the summer when most students return home. We do this through our unique 9+3 model which offers the best of both worlds for landlords as they are able to rent long-term to students for 9-months and 3-months short-term accomodation capitalising on the peak summer rates. EasyRent provides a win-win solution for both landlords and students as we increase the landlords rental yield and provide furnished 9-month rentals for students. We currently have 315 students registered with us looking for properties and 11 properties. However, 70% of our current students are looking for 3 bedroom plus houses or townhouses. We only have 1-3 bedroom apartments as we can’t persuade or find an inlet into 3bedroom+ landlords to use our service/platform. We really need help with getting these bigger properties as then we can start solving thousands of students flatting problems. The properties are preferred furnished but if they are not then we can also furnish the homes free of charge at the start. Any help would be seriously appreciated. I’ve been through this problem and have witnessed thousands of students complain about paying rent over summer and we want to solve this issue once and for all. Kind regards, Toby Founder – easyrent.nz 

Question submitted by @tobyeasyrent 16/12/2020 @ 10:35 am
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