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Regional digital hub runs first business seminar

The first in a series of free business seminars got off to a positive start at the Tairawhiti Technology Hub in Kaiti.

Business coach and digital technology consultant Renee Carmody ran the first of six seminars designed to help people turn business ideas into reality, or to help owners grow their businesses.

Tairawhiti Technology Trust organises and promotes business seminars through Whare Atamai, the trust's business hub.

Ms Carmody said she was pleased at how quickly the group picked up the content and implemented it straight away.

“They've got these ideas but don't know how to get started.”

The seminars are designed to give people something tangible to work towards and provide a forum to workshop business ideas and get feedback from the group.

“We ask what is the purpose, intention and impact you want to have in the community you run your business in.”

Operations manager Polly Crawford was impressed with Ms Carmody's approach to growing a business.

“I was pleased with the number of people who attended from a variety of backgrounds — photography, a potential IT repair business, weavers and more.

“Renee is presenting these seminars free of charge and the response from the first seminar was excellent.”

Marama West, who owns and operates a bed and breakfast, said Ms Carmody was dynamic and enthusiastic.

“However, what stood out for me was Renee's simple statement — ‘Never start a business to make money. Start a business to make a difference'.”

Viki Hiha, who also owns a small business, had already been to two seminars run by Ms Carmody.

“She's an upmarket hyper wahine. I have made changes to my business and getting positive results. She is willing to share her experiences for our benefit and is giving her taonga freely — koha mai koha atu” (give what you can, take what you need).

Ms Carmody arrived back in New Zealand from Melbourne just before the country went into lockdown in March.

In her last job she ran a large team at KMart in the digital e-commerce space and before this held senior executive roles for Coles and Myers.

Running the free workshops was a way for her to give back and help businesses develop in Gisborne, she said.

“I want to create an incubator programme so we can support and nurture people. If you've got a business idea, how do we make it successful so it has a positive impact on the community?”

“I love it when I see people grow and evolve. That's what gives me the most satisfaction.”

Having learned from mentors herself, she says her ethos is ‘the more you give, the more you get back in return'.

“It's absolutely happening. If you are a business owner and you're coming to these free workshops and you're getting really good results — imagine what would happen if you came to me one-on-one.”

Since returning to New Zealand, Ms Carmody has started Xplode Consulting, a business coaching service for growth-minded entrepreneurs.

The next business seminar to be held at the hub is How to Create An Offer To Have Customers Begging To Buy From You.

The rest of the programme will cover Understanding Your Customers at a Deeper Level, Creating Authority Through Story Telling, and Understanding Each Stage of the Sales Process.

Ms Carmody also runs seminars at the co-working space Launch and online.

Renee Carmody