MSD Start Me Up Programme Completes Another Successful Year

Start Me Up powered by Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and ChristchurchNZ and delivered by Ministry Of Awesome and ThincLab Canterbury, wrapped up its second year and this sequel did not disappoint. A larger cohort than last year, the participants were put through a five week online course to learn about the startup process, followed by five intensive weeks in an online Accelerator to develop their ideas into a viable business.

The Start Me Up programme was designed to provide covid-affected jobseekers the opportunity and skills to successfully launch their own business. Last week, Ministry of Awesome together with the Ministry of Social Development and Christchurch NZ hosted a celebratory evening to mark the success of the participants with their whanau, facilitators and well wishers. Some of the stories we heard were awe inspiring. Many of the 2022 cohort were well on their way to kick starting their own business. We heard from Alicia Ward and Toni Webb, two aspiring entrepreneurs from the programme on the tremendous support they received from the partners involved, helping them make meaningful progress in their business.

We were also thrilled to have Hannah Airey, a participant from 2021 provide gift boxes at this year’s celebration from her deliciously successful start-up, Badass Brownies. Hannah successfully launched her business through the programme last year and scaled to success.

Regan Jackson, Ministry of Social Development’s Regional Labour Market Manager was buoyed up by recent reports showing Canterbury has had the highest number of people leaving the benefit to move into work since 2001. Regan also paid tribute to the No. 8 Kiwi ingenuity and resourcefulness, “a can-do attitude and ability to think laterally to solve a problem. In essence, Kiwis are practical problem solvers able to invent, fix and create many things.”

A huge thank you to programme facilitators Geoff Brash and Paul Spence from Thinclab and Ministry of Awesome’s Kit Hindin and Dion Kerr for their valuable mentorship throughout the programme. Thank you also to Lachlan Knighton from Westpac and Renata Hakiwai who also greatly contributed to the programme.

Learn more about the Start Me Up Accelerator here