/CO.STARTERS – Winner among hundreds nationally in NZ

CO.STARTERS – Winner among hundreds nationally in NZ

A success story from the first CO.STARTERS cohort of 2017 file;

Matariki Stars Community Charitable Trust has benefited by one of its founders, Tracey Wallace-Hutchins taking part in the CO.STARTERS inaugural course. CO.STARTERS taught me that together we, yes even us little guys, CAN make a difference. Not entirely new to starting a business, Tracey started and set up her backpackers accommodation about 13 years ago, without any real business development support, everything learned was through trial and error, which is lonely and can be very costly. These days I’ve found I am not alone, there are many people re-thinking ‘how we do things’; re-training, embracing technology, social impacts, collective consciousness, disruptive technologies, and collaborative communities.

Introducing a new social entrepreneur start-up, Matariki Stars Community Charitable Trust. Despite being a new start-up, they have been selected into the top 5 organisations out of hundreds across New Zealand, and is in the running to win one of two AMI Community Grants 2018. It is now up to public to VOTE for – Matariki Stars Community Charitable Trust to win…. currently # 5 (votes are open via this link) …  https://www.neighbourly.co.nz/message/view/41623386  – to end poverty, help children & families into secure homes, build community connections, social enterprise, and more community resilience.

Starting and running your own business can be a very scary, isolating and vulnerable place. For me it has been a huge leap of faith. However being embraced within a community of like-minded people , discovering the value of my contribution to help others feel safe to communicate and collaborate was one of the most helpful aspects of the CO.STARTERS course. Starting the course with a few ideas but no real fixed plan, this course and more importantly the people; the participants, facilitators and especially the expert speakers’ contributions, their dedication, support and honesty was priceless. Knowing that I wanted to do something, that offers positive social impact, and help other people through the effects of the housing crisis was my motivation to attend the course. But it was the facilitators and the expert speakers selected, who have tremendous abilities to dig deep to really listen, and understand what we sometimes explain poorly, yet they could shine the light on aspects that alone you may not fully discovered. For some it is in building of the confidence, and belief in their abilities or chosen project. For others it is in reigning in and focusing the ideas into organised and meaningful plan, with purposeful outcomes.

The first line up of projects planned include; setting up a Co-working space that includes children’s playroom…. with Social and a Business workshops, that will tackle mental health issues, improve well-being, strengthen, empower and help build connected and resilient communities. Connecting with other existing services and co-shared spaces like VentureCentre and other local community social & business groups and organisations. While supporting entrepreneurs & employers in Te Puke & districts with a range of targeted workshops and services suited for people, especially needs of everyday Mums & Dads in the region. We are dreaming up a host of innovative and creative workshops that will help connect and build build relationships. Like our Dads and daughters and Tane and Tamariki series of “Here 2 Care with Hair Care Workshops” … to help tackle issues around poor mental health especially issues like suicide in the regions.

We are also networking to offer a full range of social and business supports to help our working Mums (& Dads), self employed and entrepreneurs be the best they can be. The ability to also incorporate the provision of some accommodation is an option that is gaining a great deal of interest from groups who want to offer more intensive, 2 – 5 day short block courses and workshops. A Co-shared DIY Community Workshop to include a “Community Tools Library” – like the Toy Library, to help local families to take care of their properties. This project planned the “Co-shared Community Workshop for DIY tiny home home builders”, we have the property, workshop, and gaining loads of support. All we need now is a few more VOTEs, AIM Community Grants voting close Tuesday 13 th March.

To join the next round of CO.STARTERS, click here– Venture Centre works to connect people on enterprising journeys – with each other and the mindset, skillset, toolsets, networks and resources they need – to build an ecosystem that delivers real-world, learn-by-doing events, activities, projects and experiences, and more… This would not be possible without the support of Tauranga City and Western Bay of Plenty District councils.