Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand (PTI NZ) identifies untapped business potential in the Blue Pacific and makes sure SMEs are getting the right help have their products export ready.

We run regular Path to Market workshops offering a helpful overview about moving products from start up to being export ready.

These are held in a classroom format, with around 30 businesspeople each workshop. They provide solid, all-encompassing information.

Identifying a good opportunity

PTI NZ believes one-on-one mentoring opportunities provides insightful assistance, and acts as an extra ‘push’ to businesses wanting to move into export-ready status.

In April 2019, we partnered 30 selected businesses in Fiji with mentors who had a proven history of work in the Pacific to see if it would be of benefit to the businesses.

The feedback was extremely positive and in the year that followed the team developed the PTI NZ Business Mentoring Programme (BMP).

How it works

The setup is simple, we choose four high potential businesses and pair them with four mentors for four months.

Chosen business participants must be successful in their domestic market with a product suitable for the New Zealand market – and enough product to supply that market.

The companies must be strongly driven to succeed and have sufficient resources to support export activity.

Businesses participating must take a capability assessment with their capability score highlighting gaps and areas needing attention.

The programme delivers a full mentoring plan including one-to-one coaching and business activity requirements.

The mentors also help the businesses close their capability gaps and create an export plan to be used for the New Zealand market.

At the end of the programme each business gains a higher capability score and an increased value of export deals.

Pilot in action

The PTI NZ Business Mentoring Programme pilot began in June this year and will wrap up at the end of this month.

Fiji was a natural fit to host the pilot as it is the Pacific Island nation with the largest private sector.

We have received great feedback so far, and one participant has agreed to share their experience.

Pacific Ocean Culture is a multi-species hatchery producing finfish and invertebrates. They work with a community-based culture and ‘buy back’ program within Fiji.

Co-owner Cathy Joyce says, “the PTI NZ Business Mentoring Programme is proving to be a highly valuable experience for myself and our business and I highly recommend it.

Cathy and partner Paul

“Our mentors Warwick and Laurie provide genuine support and open dialogue. We go through the programme topics, but they also take direction from me as to where I want the focus should be during our weekly catch ups and they customise our discussions accordingly.

“The regular catch ups are beneficial in progressing milestones for business activity. The external ‘set of eyes’ enables me to question and review practices and processes and to move forward on expanding business opportunities.

“Their input has opened doors for me and resulted in collaboration with a range of networks. The outcome to date has resulted in significant progression from business ideas and concepts to actuals.”

What’s next

The pilot programme wraps at the end of this month, when a full analysis and next steps recommendation report will be made.

Keep an eye out here and on our social media for the outcome!

Interested in the PTI NZ Business Mentoring Programme?

Email Acting Trade Commissioner Glynis Miller glynis.m@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz.

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