InnoNative Economy is an initiative based in Whangārei that has been providing opportunities for small Māori businesses to grow for the last few years and after recently receiving a portion of the Provincial Growth Fund, it now has plans to expand nationally.
The organisation houses a pop-up stall, online sales and a co-sharing work space and was set up as a collaborative initiative for Māori to become more involved in the local economy as entrepreneurs.
CEO for InnoNative Raewyn Tipene said the aim is to help companies increase their productivity as suppliers to a local market.
“We want our whānau to think how best they can be involved in the economy apart from just consumers. We don't want them to think they have to have a million dollar idea, you can have little ideas and still do well,” Ms. Tipene said.
“Helping them to increase their productivity to 50-100,000 off their block, not millions, something they can cope with and handle. Our retail area has about 70 people supplying into that and it’s enough for them to make a few hundred dollars a month to help them out”.
Native XP, a tourism initiative, Kaianuku Organics and IT hub N-Gen are three successful businesses running from InnoNative with N-Gen recently granted funding to grow their educational space.
The next area of growth for InnoNative Economy is the expansion and roll out of the retail store to various areas around Aotearoa.
“We want to increase exposure for our people, our whānau, our artists outside of Whangārei. We’re looking at purchasing a space in Waitangi and Paihia so we’ve got a constant presence in the bay of islands,” Ms. Tipene said.