NZ scheme boosts small firm

Business, Normal

The National, Friday 11th November 2011

A NEW promotions company, My Image Promotions, has been one of the lucky small-to-medium enterprises that benefitted from the New Zealand business mentors programme held recently.
Managing director Sylvia Pascoe said on Tuesday that the mentor programme had given them so much support that it boosted their confidence to try out something new.
“The mentors have given us a more clear direction and, fingers crossed, ensures the business survives long term.
 “My Image Promotions will be undergoing many changes over the next few months and I’ll be personally branching out with a new venture which I think I never would’ve done had I not had the NZ business mentors programme guidance,” she said.
The mentoring initiative was sponsored by the New Zealand government through its aid programme, to assist SMEs to become economic drivers.
It looked at ways to increase profits, revenue and employment and develop business skills geared toward success.
It aimed to develop the knowledge and expertise through one-on-one mentoring and empowerment programmes.
It had been launched in Cook Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, Samoa and the Solomon Islands and last September, it was launched in PNG.
The programme will be introduced to Kiribati, Fiji and Tuvalu next year.
Pascoe said it had given them a much needed perspective that they did not have before.
“These mentors have been there and done that all before and they’re such a wealth of knowledge.
“My Image Promotions has already changed so much in just these few weeks,” she said.
Pascoe had originally applied for assistance thinking it was only assistance with accounting, “but we’ve been given so much added guidance that it’s really opened my eyes”.
This is on top of the Westpac women in business support in which, Pascoe was this year’s Westpac women in business IBBM Young Achiever’s winner.
She said it was a “huge step up from where we were not so long ago.
“There is the all too real scenario that 90% of businesses fail in the first year. I feel like this restructure and change means we won’t end up as another part of those statistics.
“When you’re in the midst of the action, you don’t always see the things that are working well and the things that need work.”
Ron Massey, our mentor, spent a few days with us and showed us that. It’s made the world of difference.
“We all need a little help sometimes and I’m so glad to be a part of this programme because I know it’s the best thing for our business and it’s free!
“Interview me in a year and I hope to be telling you the story of success born out of this partnership,” a happy Pascoe said.
The mentors came from Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand to offer their assistance, free of charge, and found that PNG businesses were enthusiastic to learn.
According to the Hawke’s Bay Today newspaper, one of the mentors, accountant and business adviser Nick Roberts was quoted saying that PNG’s economy was one of the fastest growing in the world because of an abundance of natural resources such as oil, gas and minerals.
“However, the business support structure to the major industries is in such a fledging state that they need all the help they can get and there lies an opportunity for our region,” he said.