Start my business

It’s a big decision to start your own business, but it can be difficult to figure out what the first step is. WellingtonNZ can point you in the right direction

At WellingtonNZ, our role is to help established businesses grow and succeed, which means we don’t have a lot to do with start-ups. But that’s not to say we can’t help.

If you’re a Māori business or Māori in business, looking at developing new technologies or products through Research & Development, or starting a tourism business, our business team can support you on your journey. If your business idea doesn't fit into one of those categories, there is a range of trusted resources and programmes to help you on your way.

Business accelerators and R&D opportunities

Lightning Lab (Creative HQ’s Start-Up Division) - Lightning Lab is on the lookout for exciting Wellington-based start-ups with a unique value proposition, potential to scale globally, early signs of validation and/or growth, coachable founders with a team. Their support includes coaching, networks, desk space, workshops and pitch sessions. See if your business fits the Lightning Lab Criteria.

WellingtonNZ R&D support - If you’re developing new products or technologies, our business support team can help you access the expertise and advice you need to support your innovation. We can also help with your applications for grants from Callaghan Innovation.

Start-up programmes

Business Mentors NZ - The BMNZ Start-up Programme is designed for people who have a business idea and want to explore it, need help assessing the feasibility of their idea, develop a robust business plan and have the right foundations in place.

Pop Up Business School Aotearoa - This free, two-week intensive course is designed to help you develop and progress your business idea, alongside other entrepreneurs.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa - There are a range of free business courses available through Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Smart Steps for Business is a 20-week course that will help you to identify, evaluate and plan for the launch of your business. You'll learn everything required to build a business idea and assess whether it could be successful in market.

The business basics - This is a great source of information, templates and useful links. There is a whole section dedicated to getting started in business; how to take the first steps, how to choose the right business structure, build a brand, fund your business, planning tools and much more.

Inland Revenue - IRD has developed a series of videos called Introduction to Business, to help new business owners. It includes topics such as business structures, expenses, registering for GST and record keeping.

Māori business support

If you’re a Māori business or Māori in business, WellingtonNZ has a specific business growth advisor who can support you, regardless of what stage you’re at. Whether you’re a start-up, an established business or ready to grow, we want to help you access support and networks to succeed.

Find out more about our Māori business support.

Tourism business support

If you are thinking about starting a tourism business in Wellington, please get in touch with us. WellingtonNZ provides advice to start-ups in the tourism sector to make sure they understand the tourism context and develop a tourism offering that aligns with the needs of the industry.

Find out more about our tourism business support.

Finding out more about your customers and competitors

Statistics New Zealand - Stats NZ provides data for businesses about your potential customers, industry and competitive landscape. You can use their free data resource, or you can pay for their customised data services to help you make a more informed decision.

Figure NZ - This is a user-friendly free resource. You can search data by sector and location, and it brings up a range of data that may fit the scope of your search.

Prosearch is Wellington City Libraries' professional search service. You can access up to 1 hour's non-urgent free research per topic. For urgent enquiries, work can be undertaken at $60 per hour.

Haven’t found what you need?

Contact our Business Growth team for more information.

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