Icehouse set to boost Hawke's Bay

By PATRICK O'SULLIVAN - BUSINESS EDITOR


Acclaimed business incubator The Icehouse Business Growth Centre's first satellite office, announced on Wednesday, "is a coup for Hawke's Bay", says Business Hawke's Bay (BHB) chairman Stuart McLauchlan.

He said the regional economic development agency had been working closely with Icehouse since BHB's inception 12 months ago.

"Icehouse is closely aligned with BHB," he said.

"Our mission is to train, grow and attract vibrant businesses and people talent. That is closely aligned to what Icehouse do.

"The idea is to make Hawke's Bay the best regional location in which to work, invest and grow," he said.

He said Icehouse was a "powerhouse" that had measurably grown businesses throughout New Zealand.

He thanked Business Hawke's Bay board members Hamish Whyte (Furnware) and Robert Darroch (FPG) for their time and effort in bringing Icehouse to Hawke's Bay.

"They have both had personal experience with Icehouse through their businesses and have seen the benefits and success that can bring.

"The programmes that Icehouse run can bring more business success to Hawke's Bay," Mr McLauchlan said.

The project leader from The Icehouse, Peter Wogan, will be commuting from Auckland.

Mr Wogan said Icehouse was widening its scope. It had undertaken to grow 1000 of the 3000 businesses that need to grow in order for New Zealand to get into the top half of the OECD by 2020.

He said Icehouse had already started working in June on a comprehensive assessment of the Hawke's Bay business environment.

"We have some good information to kick off with.

"In terms of understanding what is going on in Hawke's Bay, there are a lot of common business challenges faced throughout New Zealand, particularly around planning, governance, networks, understanding how to grow, how to manage tough times, how to export - a number of things that won't be surprising."

He said the next phase was to get in front of individual business owners.

"Understanding what they need for their next level and deliver those programmes."

"I'm going to be down here regularly until at least March, but it will be driven by how many businesses we can get in front of, whether we can match up resources and programmes to deliver for them."

Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce president Katja Williams urged businesses to contact Business Hawke's Bay if they were interested in business development programmes.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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