International research has shown that failure rate among start-up business can be very high.  One report recently suggested that only one in twelve start-ups succeed in the long term.  People intending to start their own business should ensure that their decision is as well informed, objective as possible and that they have done everything prior to starting to ensure they have a high chance of success.  This is why the recent InnoNative Market event organised by He Puna Marama Trust should be applauded.

This was an amazing day showcasing some fantastic enterprises and giving these entrepreneurs a key experience that is essential to business success and that is being able to test the market.  This is because it is necessary for new businesses to start testing the market as soon as possible and to accept that the product development will be a constantly evolving process pivoting on the response of interaction with as many possible partners, prospective investors and especially potential customers as possible.

This approach has been described as improving a ventures chance of success by failing fast and continuing to learn.   It starts with a business model developed through experimentation and feedback.  It ensures that the potential business person asks themselves why they should be in business and whose problems are they solving.  Of course, on this occasion these businesses have the additional support that the Trust and others involved in the event had provided in establishing a vibrant, culturally rich and organic environment in which this could happen.

I hope this is the first of many of these events and that these business people and this part of our urban environment continues to grow and prosper.  I am sure that Whangarei’s wider business community welcome the opportunity to support this growth.   It also reinforces the importance of the proposed Hihiaua Cultural Centre and the role it will play in the building the cultural capacity and capability of a large part of Whangarei’s population and particularly our young people.

We know that tourism is a big driver of our economy and that the visitor numbers are forecast to grow and also to change in what they want.  The young businesses that participated in the InnoNative Market and infrastructure that the Hihiaua Cultural Centre will provide can help meet this future demand.  This can be yet another opportunity for us to celebrate our district’s unique points of difference.




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