Entrepreneurs urged to enter contest
Southland entrepreneurs and fledgling businesses are being urged by the Economic Development Ministry to enter Business.govt.nz's ANZ Flying Start Business Plan Competition, which closes in two weeks.
Event organisers have voiced concern that few businesses from the region have entered the competition.
The best business plan in Southland will win $1000 and would be entered into the national competition to win a $10,000 export prize package that included airfares, accommodation and transfers for a business trip to meet potential trade partners.
A $56,000 supreme prize package is also up for grabs, which includes business training, advertising and legal advice.
Business.govt.nz manager Katie Wellington said: "Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities. We're looking forward to witnessing more inspiring ideas from Southland entrepreneurs."
She praised last year's Southland winner Jan Spriggs for her online business Peppermint Dreams.
Miss Spriggs sells hi-tech sleepwear for women who have temperature fluctuations because of menopause, pregnancy, PMS or medical procedures.
Miss Spriggs said her business idea came when she endured night sweats and hot flushes, and struggled to find a solution.
She realised there was an opening in the market and set about importing sleepwear from the United States and developing the website.
She said her business flourished with the prizes, which cash, web and social media development, and legal advice.
"The competition gave me credibility with customers that advertising alone would not establish. I have also given talks to various women's groups, which brought new business," she said.
She hopes to import more stock and eventually open a shop in Invercargill and advised developing businesses to embrace the challenge of the competition.
The competition is open to all businesses with less than $1 million annual turnover, including those with a business idea they want to get off the ground.
Entries close on June 26.
- © Fairfax NZ News