Co.Starters Provides Opportunity for Buller Entrepreneurs


Off the Top of my Head

By Paul Murray

Buller REAP with the support of the Buller District Council (BDC) and Development West Coast (DWC) is providing people in Karamea and the Buller District with an opportunity to take their idea and fine tune it for market success through a educational programme specially designed for entrepreneurs.

Co.Starters began in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 2008 in a region that was facing similar economic challenges we are currently experiencing in the Buller region. In Chattanooga, the Co.Starters programme was instrumental in turning their situation around and renewing the local economy by supporting small business start-ups, fostering entrepreneurial ideas and helping people take their ideas to market by networking with others to ensure the ultimate success of their respective ventures. The region is now considered one of the most economically stable in the United States, has a vibrant artistic community, a successful small business sector and it has also attracted some large corporations.


The course is held over nine weeks and involves 3 hours per week of lecture time, 30 minutes per week with a mentor and the rest is home-based study that is completed by following the course guide.

So, if you have a good idea, this course will really help you articulate it, establish a realistic business plan and plot a course to achieve specific goals toward establishing a financially sustainable business that will enable you to successfully live and work in Karamea and help build a more resilient local economy for the benefit of the whole community.

The course is usually $1,000 per participant, but BDC and DWC are offering interested people a subsidy to do the course for $250, which covers the course material and basic costs.

If there is sufficient interest in this programme and 10 or more local people are keen to take positive steps toward securing a bright future, the course can be held here in Karamea and facilitators, guest speakers and mentors will travel to Karamea to meet with the course participants at a local venue. The course is tentatively scheduled to start in late April.


For more information about the Co.Starters Programme, please visit the Web site:

For expressions of interest in participating in a Co.Starters course as a facilitator, or student, please contact:

Pete Howard:

Buller Community Development Facilitator

Ph: (03) 789 7659

Cell: 021 029 56 498



Buller-REAP-logo-colour-email                buller-district-council




About LivinginPeaceProject

Paul Murray is the founder of the LivinginPeace Project. Paul originally from Australia, but have been living in New Zealand for 14 years. Before that he was in Japan for a decade working as a journalist. He met his wife Sanae in Japan and they married in 2008.
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1 Response to Co.Starters Provides Opportunity for Buller Entrepreneurs

  1. This programme is great, it takes your good idea and prepares it for business success in the market…it’s basically a MBA course that is simple, succinct and straight forward…if you have a good idea for a self-sustaining business, or want to improve on your existing business operation and work with a lot of like-minded people to establish mutually beneficial synergies…the Co.Starters Course is most definitely for you. The Buller District Council is funding 75% of the course fee, so it is only $250 to do the entire course….I’m IN!

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