Wellington Scoop

More time to get free help for rebuilding businesses after lockdown

News from WREDA (aka WellingtonNZ)
The wide range of firms looking for help through WellingtonNZ’s free innovation programme Thrive has prompted the region’s economic development agency to extend the application window.

Applications for Thrive, a series of sector-specific interactive workshops to help owners rebuild and reimagine their Wellington-based businesses in the wake of Covid-19, will now be accepted till 25 May. The programme will be delivered by innovation specialists Creative HQ.

Wellington company Dignity, a women’s wellbeing initiative championing period equity, has applied to be part of Thrive as it looks to adapt the way it works.

Dignity General Manager Anika Speedy says their buy-one, give-one business model allows corporates to buy and provide sanitary products to their staff. For every box purchased by a corporate, another box is donated to a school, youth or community organisation in need.

“With the majority of our corporate partners working from home during lockdown, Covid-19 has forced us to adapt our business model. The Thrive program is a great opportunity for us to explore and develop new models to ensure Dignity continues to grow and create Impact.”

WellingtonNZ Regional Development General Manager David Perks says more than 130 businesses have applied to take part in the Thrive programme. Whilst places are limited, he is eager to see more companies register their interest.

“It was expected that businesses from sectors such as tourism and hospitality would register for help to find innovative ways to help secure their futures.

“Plenty of these businesses have registered but so have plenty more from other sectors such as telecommunications, education and training, manufacturing, construction and even health product suppliers such as Dignity. It goes to show that Wellington business owners from all walks of life want to be creative and look at how their business can adapt and thrive in an economy changed by Covid-19.”

Mr Perks was also pleased to see that companies from throughout the Wellington region – Wairarapa, Hutt Valley, Kāpiti, Porirua and Wellington city – are represented in the initial influx of applications.

“Participants will be split into cohorts of up to 10 people in similar sectors or business types from across the region. This will ensure like-businesses can share their experiences and issues and work on solutions with business owners’ region-wide, not just from their own immediate geographical location.”

Thrive is a nimble programme made up of a series of three two-hour sessions across a week. These can be virtual, physical (within social distancing rules) or a combination, depending on what works best for each business.

Those participating will be introduced to some of the world leading innovation tools and methodologies Creative HQ use to help businesses change the way they work, solve problems, and reimagine their product or service.

These are the same tools that CreativeHQ has used over many years to help hundreds of businesses of all sizes innovate, from start-ups like Sharesies and Hnry, through to large corporates such as Beca and Transpower.

The Thrive programme is provided free for selected participants but places are strictly limited. It will be funded by a $200,000 investment from WellingtonNZ.

You can find full details and the application form here.


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