The Networking Group Blog

About Networking. We are a Business Networking Organisation Connecting Trades, Services and Professionals in a structured networking environment.

Regional Business Partner Network

Is your company eligible for business funding?

Local businesses looking for help with management capability – for example, finance, strategy, marketing or export – can potentially access both advice and funding via the Regional Business Partner Network.
A recent TNG online event meeting hosted guest speaker Jennifer Dahl, Business Growth Adviser at Auckland Unlimited Ltd, who laid out some of the criteria and options available.
Essentially the Regional Business Partner Network, managed by Auckland Unlimited – and other regional bodies such as Northland Inc., the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce, and Grow Wellington – is designed to connect businesses with support and funding.
While the Covid-19 fund is now closed, Auckland Unlimited continues to work with the Management Capability Fund and the Tourism Transitions Fund. The latter, as a separate funding stream, is only for those businesses impacted by closed borders.
“The Management Capability Fund is more for businesses that have identified that they have gaps in their management capability – it is not a source of operational funds.
“For example, you might be a fantastic creator of some technology, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you know the best way to take it to market. Or maybe you’ve been in business for ten years making and selling widgets around the country, but you’ve identified that you now want to take that offshore, and you need help to get to the point where you can export.
“Perhaps you need help with your numbers or going digital or managing staff. Typically it’s businesses with these kinds of needs that will engage with us.”
Jennifer said that some businesses that apply already have an existing offer of help from an expert supplier that the fund has approved, or the fund would make some recommendations. In both instances, the fund could provide some funding to help with the cost of getting expert help.
“Among the various areas that we do cover off are business planning and strategy, which is usually the first services most businesses would start with when they engage with, for example, a business coach.”
Jennifer said sustainability and the circular economy – which tackles global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution – are other key areas at the moment.
“The role of Auckland Unlimited as the economic development agency for Auckland is all about warming up Auckland’s economic microclimate for business, but it also supports various things like the workforce, relevant skills support and the shift towards a greener economy.”
Jennifer said that capability fund support is also available for business systemisation, such as digital systemisation, as well as capital raising, resource management, the path to export and financial advice for business, e.g. cashflow advice, profit and loss.
“It was pretty common in the past that businesses would come in wanting help with marketing. It was a common theme but not always the golden nugget. A lot of businesses had to start at the start, which was that business planning piece before they really could look at the marketing aspect.”
Jennifer said any GST registered (or with a New Zealand business number), privately owned business based in New Zealand and operating in a commercial environment with less than 50 employees, is eligible following an assessment.
“Most early days start-ups can’t, unfortunately, access the funding until they are operating in a commercial environment.”
Jennifer said most assessments are conducted via Zoom.
“We use Zoom because we’ve had ten times the number of businesses register for help on the programme since Covid-19. This means the discovery process is very much truncated compared to in the past.
“A hefty number of applicants are already coming in on the recommendation of an advisor that’s already on the programme.”

The Networking Group would like to thank Jennifer for giving her time recently on our online group to share this information with our network.

TNG Connect NZ Online – Networking Online

Meets fortnightly on a Friday 10.30am to 11.30am via Zoom 

– TNG Members free
– Visitors, one free visit
– Educational forum

Next Online Meeting:  10.30am Friday 13 August 2021

For information about our next speaker please see our website.

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