Applications are now open for at least five sponsored places in "Rotorua X Incubate" - a programme designed to help new businesses and social enterprises to succeed.
Incubate is a 10-week programme for business or social entrepreneurs who would receive a "pod" (position) in a shared working space, have business coaching through group sessions and gain access to training modules to build business capability to help their organisation grow and succeed.
In addition, organisations also have the option to fund themselves through the programme.
Rotorua X chairman Darren McGarvie said the first round of Incubate was successful with at least five part-time places available for the next round.
"Fully sponsored places are limited to five or six part-time places.
"After receiving feedback from the two participants who finished the programme we have decided to provide the option for businesses to fund themselves through the programme," he said.
Sponsorship through Te Puni Kokiri has provided for four Maori businesses to participate in the programme.
Waiariki Institute of Technology has also sponsored up to two part-time participants.
The next round of the incubate programme will start mid-September.
The first round of Incubate participants, Leanna Haverkamp from Flavazum Whanau and Emilie Castellanos-Wright from Liaison Services, both recommended the experience to others.
"Our organisation has developed and grown within the time span of the Incubate programme. The shared working space and professional facilities have provided me with an office conducive to work and has allowed me to achieve more than I would from working from home," Ms Haverkamp said.
"The coaching received through the Incubate programme has been very helpful. I have repositioned my business strategy and updated my service offering," Ms Castellanos-Wright said.
Mr McGarvie said Incubate was key to helping more people launch and grow businesses and social enterprises.
"Over 90 per cent of New Zealand businesses are small businesses with less than six employees," Mr McGarvie said.
"We need to foster an entrepreneurial culture in Rotorua to enable more people to start their own business or social enterprise," he said.
"Rotorua X Incubate has been designed to provide organisations that are less than two years old to have the support, office space, coaching and training to help them succeed and achieve their business goals."
To be eligible for fully sponsored positions a business or social enterprise must have been in operation for less than two years. If organisations want to fund themselves through the programme the cost is $950.
To apply, send your name, the details of your organisation and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.