SME research results are inspiring business growth centre The Icehouse to take a new approach to the way it runs training workshops for small businesses

More than three quarters of Kiwi business owners want easier access to expert training help but value for money and time away from the business remain issues, according to new research.

The survey conducted by business growth centre The Icehouse and the BNZ has led to the development of a range of short, topic-specific workshops, designed to help Kiwi small businesses grow.

BNZ director Partners, Anthony Healy says making business education accessible to the largest segment of New Zealand's business sector is critical to improve the overall performance of the economy.

"We identified that we must provide a way for business owners to access the skills they need to grow their business without taking them away from the day-to-day running of the business," Healy said.


The new workshops are designed to cater specifically for the operational needs of SMEs, says The Icehouse chief executive, Andy Hamilton.

"The workshops cover a number of topics that business owners have told us they are challenged by including finance, HR, sales and marketing to governance, leadership and many more," he said.

The training workshops will be offered in three formats (90-minute web seminars, two and half-hour workshops, and two day workshops) to give business owners the flexibility to access the information in a way that suits them, says Hamilton.

The Icehouse chief executive Andy Hamilton.
The Icehouse chief executive Andy Hamilton.

"These new, short workshops are a great addition to the current offering and we think the choice of options will enable us to work with thousands more business owners and senior managers across the country," Hamilton said.

The Icehouse/BNZ research surveyed 580 businesses and found that the main areas business owners felt they needed expert assistance were retaining and acquiring new customers (44 per cent), cashflow funding (41 per cent), and recruiting staff and improving performance (36 per cent).

The workshops are available from April, starting in Auckland and Christchurch and then rolling out across 11 regions in New Zealand.

For more information about the workshops click here.