Topic: Business

Hawke's Bay Māori entrepreneurs lift off

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

A programme called KETE, run by Māori for Māori is helping whānau in Hawke's Bay become their own bosses by helping them turn their business ideas into reality. 

So far, it's helped more than 80 start up businesses in its first term. 

"KETE stands for 'Kreate Enterprises Tautoko Entrepreneurs' and it's a programme we started up after talking to our whānau about what's going to help their economic outcomes for them as whānau," says Lewis Ratapu, project manager for KETE.

The only criteria is applicants must be Māori and they get support through workshops, understanding business models and guidance from a Māori mentor.

"Māori business here I think makes up under 10% in terms of the entire business that we have here in Hawke's Bay and when we look at highly-skilled jobs whānau Māori really only make up 33%," says Ratapu.

The programme offers funding through a grant of up to $7,000 to help Māori business grow.

"We needed the start-up help and support financially and in a mentor guidance type of way, KETE the programme has been fundamental in getting us to where we are which is very successful after a year's operation," says Hinewai Hawaikirangi, co-owner of Napier Māori Tours.

KETE is a first for the area and is supported by multiple Māori trusts and organisations with another round set to open shortly.