Local businesses growing with help of Waikato Innovation Park 03 July 2018 More and more Coromandel businesses are making use of the help available from Waikato Innovation Park's business growth advisors. More and more Coromandel businesses are making use of the help available from Waikato Innovation Park's business growth advisors. "Of the 21 business we have met with and that registered subsequently, six of them took up the opportunity for subsidised coaching/training through the use of the Capability Voucher scheme." Waikato Innovation Park (WIP) delivers the voucher programme on behalf of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. The programme offers funding support towards management training costs for eligible businesses on a 50% basis up to a maximum of $5000 per year per business. The funding can be used in these key areas: Marketing Capital raising Business planning Business operations Business systems Finance Business sustainability Managing resources Governance Export Making contacts, building confidence One of the businesses that has benefitted from WIP's assistance is Damsara New Zealand, which makes beeswax candles for the local and export markets. "As a small start-up, we found Waikato Innovation Park most helpful for making contacts in the marketplace and in obtaining a small grant for R&D funding," says Sarah Campbell, Damsara's owner. "Working with them also helps build confidence in what you want to accomplish, and in defining how to achieve your goals," she says. Ms Campbell contacted WIP about one year ago and the research and development grant came through about two months ago. With the grant's help, they are now conducting blind tests to develop a beeswax product to treat psoriasis, a skin condition. Does your business qualify for this help? The main criterion for WIP assistance is the desire to improve your business. For the full elegibility criteria, visit the WIP website. “We currently work with companies across the Waikato and are now working more closely with the Coromandel,” says WIP Business Growth Advisor Peter Davey. “We’re very interested in helping local businesses that want to thrive, bur face technical roadblocks, or are looking to take on new skills that will enable business growth," Mr Davey says. A WIP business growth advisor is at our Council's Thames office at 515 Mackay St on the first Tuesday of every month and is available to talk to business owners or managers who need some advice. The advisory service is free and is aimed at helping you gain knowledge, connect with the right people and grow your business. Just pop into the office and ask to see "the person from Waikato Innovation Park". Alternatively, you could email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a time. To find out more about Waikato Innovation Park visit their website, Facebook or LinkedIn pages. Or call one of our Council's Economic Development team on 07 868 0200.