West Coast Entrepreneurs Shine at Co.Starters Graduation Night in Hokitika

15 May 2023
Business pitches, product sampling and collaboration marked the recent celebration night in Hokitika for the participants of Development West Coast’s Co.Starters programme.

Co.Starters is a ten-week business start-up and development programme that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships and tools needed to turn business ideas into action.

The recent graduating class included a range of established and soon-to-open businesses from accommodation, beauty products, landscaping, photography, apiaries to business administration.

The group was supported by facilitators Hannah Fitzgibbon and Dave Ritchie, along with weekly guest speakers from the local business community.

DWC Business & Capability Adviser, Ian Johnson, said the participants are a “strong cohort with a clearly creative thread that will diversify the West Coast economy and further demonstrate that anything is possible on the Coast.”

The celebration night culminated with a vote for the 'best pitch'. Katie Baxter (Ruby & Rose) took home the prize, winning a Business Design package from Direen Creative. Daniel Foord of Westland Landscaping Ltd. won the team's choice and secured a 12-month membership to Business Mentors NZ. Katie, Daniel, and Nicola Allington from Riverview Retreat also won prizes for their customer interactions during the programme.

The event was catered by one of the programme’s past graduates, Lisa Winter from the MASH Mobile Mess Tent. The Co.Starters programme continues to foster entrepreneurship on the West Coast, underscoring the region's dedication to innovation and economic diversity.

Hokitika Costarters

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