CO.STARTERS Westport - 2024

30 April, 2024
$500 + GST
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Apply now for the CO.STARTERS business start-up and development programme returning to Westport in 2024!


If you’re an aspiring or seasoned entrepreneur, looking to launch a new product or service, the CO.STARTERS business programme is for you!

CO.STARTERS is a weekly course designed to help you find the best approach to starting and growing a business. Collaborate with others who share your entrepreneurial spirit as you work through your business model.

The ten-week programme will equip you with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn your ideas into a sustainable and thriving endeavour. Each week the cohort will work through a theme/topic together, with local entrepreneurs and professionals coming as guest speakers to share their knowledge and inspiring stories.

CO.STARTERS programmes have run successfully across the West Coast. Graduates of the programme have gone on to do inspiring things across the Coast. Westport graduates of the programme include:

Read more graduate stories


The CO.STARTERS programme was developed in Chattanooga, TN, USA by Enoch Elwell, a co-founder of The Company Lab business/enterprise hub, which has played a key role in the revitalisation of Chattanooga. It was developed as a means to empower community leaders in assisting aspiring entrepreneurs, start-up’s and existing small business owners/managers in developing their businesses. 

CO.STARTERS is a ten-week cohort based program that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships and tools needed to turn ideas into action and turn a passion into a sustainable and thriving endeavour. This program is based on the Business Model Canvas incorporating Lean Start-Up methodology which has been used by highly successful entrepreneurs and corporations around the world, such as Microsoft, Intel, Xerox, NASA and 3M. CO.STARTERS utilises and develops locally based facilitators and mentors, while bringing in expert guest speakers for inspiration and guidance.

Development West Coast is a part of the CO.STARTERS® network. Learn more at


Week 1: Knowing Yourself

  • Introduction, assumptions, working styles, team building, obstacles.

Week 2: Knowing Your Customer

  • Customer, problem, alternatives, idea testing.

Week 3: Finding the Right Solution

  • Solution, benefit, advantage, starting small, brand identity.

Week 4: Getting the Relationship Right

  • Marketing and message; getting, keeping and growing customers.

Week 5: Building Blocks

  • Distribution, revenue, typical offering, price.

Week 6: Structures and Systems

  • Legal and accounting considerations.

Week 7: Discovering the Bottom Line

  • Startup and ongoing needs, fixed and variable costs, break-even point.

Week 8: Financial Modeling

  • Break-even point, sales projections, cash flow, raising capital.

Week 9: Planning for Growth

  • Growth plans, goal setting, celebration prep.

Week 10: Celebration

Meet the Facilitators

Anita Halsall-Quinlan

Having undertaken the CO.STARTERS facilitator training in April 2021, this will be Anita's first time guiding a cohort and she is excited to be teaming up with Jessie.

Anita has been a guest speaker and a mentor through previous CO.STARTERS cohorts. Anita loved the experience to not only share her journey in small business but also found it a great environment in which to learn.

A former member of the West Coast Regional Skills Leadership Group, Anita was also an elected member of the former West Coast District Health Board.

For the past 11 years Anita has owned her online fashion & homewares business. Anita also co-owns a construction business specialising in architectural builds with her husband.

Currently, Anita is relief teaching at the local High School, making jewellery and hosting jewellery making workshops.

Being born and breed in Westport, Anita has passion and pride for the Buller district and loves the diverse mix of creatives and entrepreneurs that make up our vibrant community.

In her downtime, Anita can be found biking on one of our stunning trails, listening to music, gardening or indulging in some mindfulness at her jewellery bench.

Jessie Creedmore

Jessie Creedmore is a second time facilitator of the CO.STARTERS programme, and was involved with the programme in Nelson through business contacts and the Start Up Weekend where she implemented a digital marketing strategy, secured mentors and thoroughly enjoyed being part of the energised business systems delivered.

Jessie has over 20 years of experience in both public and private sectors and enjoys driving positive change and delivering tangible results. Diverse skills come from a career spanning marketing and strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, community and economic development, destination management, viticulture, digital media - she thrives with variety.

Before moving to Karamea she worked in Nelson where she managed a range of large programmes, including destination marketing, conference & incentive travel and major event coordination, along with informing and supporting the regional rebranding of Nelson Tasman, building a library of identity toolkit assets including video and still imagery campaigns. Transitioning to Karamea in 2020, Jessie embraced community initiatives, spearheading projects like the Karamea Pop Up Gallery with ensuing events like KaraWearable, and from July last year conducted a full community consultation process to create a comprehensive 5-year Community Plan.

In her other life Jessie enjoys creating art, working on a book about her childhood and spending time in the stunning surrounds of Karamea with her partner, five goats and two dogs. She is well settled in the beautiful Buller region - “It’s the Warm West, you know...”

Programme Details

  • Dates: beginning Tuesday, 30 April
  • Time: 5.30pm - 8.30pm
  • Venue: EPIC Westport - 10a Lyndhurst Street, Westport
  • Facilitators: Jessie Creedmore and Anita Halsall-Quinlan
  • Cost: $500 + GST

Programme Dates:

  • Tuesday, 30 April
  • Tuesday, 7 May
  • Tuesday, 14 May
  • Tuesday, 21 May
  • Tuesday, 28 May
  • Tuesday, 4 June
  • Tuesday, 11 June
  • Tuesday, 18 June
  • Tuesday, 25 June
  • Tuesday, 2 July - Celebration Night


Once you've applied

Once we have received your application, you will receive an email confirming and to arrange an appointment for you to complete a pre cohort interview with Jessie Creedmore (facilitator). This is to ensure participants are fully aware of the course content that will be covered, time commitment involved, to determine this is the right course and prepare you for the ten week programme. 

Please be aware there is a limited amount of spaces for this cohort but there will be further opportunity to complete CO.STARTERS again next year.

Payment Options

Please note the programme fee is due prior to the programme commencing. We're happy to discuss a payment plan if required but this needs to be confirmed before the programme commences. Please contact us at or 03 769 7000 to discuss.

30 April, 2024
$500 + GST
Visit website

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10A Lyndhurst Street, Westport 7825, New Zealand