The recent Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand Path to Market Trade Mission across five days in Auckland provided an ideal opportunity to test the demand for a one-on-one Business Mentoring service from the over forty Pacific companies from ten countries that participated.

Business Mentor Bruce Taylor meeting with Matai and Poe of Nesian from Tahiti.

The concept of mentoring is as old as time itself – it is a transfer of knowledge from an experienced person to someone who can benefit from that experience in the future. In a business environment this is called business mentoring.

Ten volunteer business mentors, all of whom have worked in the Pacific, were invited to meet with participating businesses as part of the Trade Mission. Unsurprisingly, both the mentors and the business owners were enthusiastic about the concept of one-on-one business mentoring and were keen for such a programme to be available in the future.

They spoke of a gap that exists between business training as a group and the added value that a one-on-one mentoring programme could provide by giving advice to individual businesses based on their specific circumstances. They felt that the gap existed as no organisation currently provides one-on-one mentoring support.

Terry Gillespie, who has been mentoring businesses in the Cook islands for several years said, “The businesses were amazed to find out how mentoring could help them.

“If it is expansion plans, bookkeeping, staff worries, lack of holidays, taxation or the need for a business plan then ‘one on one’ mentoring would put them on the right track.”

Several of the businesses who met the mentors asked how they could sign up immediately – some stating that such a programme would definitely help their business be more successful.

Representatives from each of the Pacific Island countries’ Economic Development Agencies (EDA) who also participated in the trade mission were enthusiastic about the concept. Several said they intended to open discussions with their stakeholders in their home country as this would help promote economic development in the future.

As a result of the strong demand PTI NZ is planning to introduce a one-on-one’ mentoring programme in the future.

For more information email PTI NZ Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong at ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

 

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