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: http://www.costarters.co
For expressions of interest in participating in a Co.Starters course as a facilitator, or student, please contact:
Buller Community Development Facilitator
Ph: (03) 789 7659
Cell: 021 029 56 498