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We're here to support growing and aspirational businesses

Meet Jennifer, the managing director of Downloads.

Downlights is a social enterprise that provides employment opportunities for young adults with Down Syndrome and learning disabilities by creating luxury scented candles.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Downlights faced challenges as candles were not deemed essential items. Jennifer explains how Regional Businesses Partners network has pivoted their business to focus on e-commerce strategies during the lockdown period.

Through collaboration with RBP, Jennifer was able to acquire the necessary skills to enhance their e-commerce platform, leading to a significant increase in sales. Jennifer emphasises the importance of seeking help and guidance from others to improve business strategies and achieve success.

If your business faces a challenge, don’t hesitate to reach out to Regional Business Partner network for a free business advice

The Auckland Business Chamber is part of the Regional Business Partner network (RBP).

This network is supported by Callaghan Innovation and MBIE to provide information and advice to New Zealand businesses. As a Regional Business Partner, we have specialist Growth Advisors available to help business owners and key managers identify needs and opportunities to achieve their ambitions, grow sustainably, and employ more people. We can provide advice, information, referrals, and connections to businesses seeking support for their growth journey.

Who should apply?

If you are a business seeking advice and support to help you grow, you can apply to meet with one of our Growth Advisors for a free 30 minute one on one phone call. You can also use this link to reconnect with us if you are already registered. Just enter your NZBN and contact details when prompted.


Management Capability Development Fund

As well as the advice, information, referrals and connections from our Growth Advisors, some businesses may be offered co-funding through the Management Capability Development Fund. This offers businesses up to 50 per cent co-funded support for management coaching and training services. Find out what areas of support this fund covers.

Funding is limited and not guaranteed. Each application is assessed on an individual basis after speaking with one of our Growth Advisors. Your advisor will decide if and how much funding support we can offer, connect you to services where applicable and/or connect you to useful resources. Capability funding is only one of many services that your Growth Advisor can connect you with to help grow your business.

Who should apply?

To receive Management Capability Development Fund support in the Auckland region your business should be:

  • An established business trading for at least 12 months
  • Turning over at least $60,000 in sales in the previous financial year
  • In a growth phase, looking to build internal management capability and hire more staff
  • Fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees
  • GST-registered in New Zealand
  • Registered with a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN)
  • Operating in a commercial environment
  • Privately owned business or a Māori Trust or incorporation under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 or be a similar organisation managing Māori assets under multiple ownership

This is not an exhaustive list; any co-funding is at the discretion of your Growth Advisor.

Please note that Charitable Trusts and Incorporated Societies are not eligible.


Innovation, Research & Development Support

If you’re planning to grow through innovation, or you’re investing in R&D in the areas of science and technology, our specialist Navigators can help you access the right advice, contacts and programmes, including funding through Callaghan Innovation. Find out what type of support your business could be eligible to access.

Who should apply?

There are varying criteria for each type of grant and innovation support, but there are common criteria that your business needs to meet. If your business meets all the initial criteria below, you can start an application today.

  • GST-registered in New Zealand
  • New Zealand Business Number (NZBN)
  • Operating in a commercial environment
  • Privately owned business or a Māori Trust or incorporation under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 or be a similar organisation managing Māori assets under multiple ownership.

As part of the application process, an Auckland Business Chamber Navigator may contact you to discuss your key priorities and the support available to help you achieve them.


Kickstart your first research and development project with up to $400,000 in Government co-funding

Callaghan Innovation’s New to R&D Grant supports entrepreneurs at the “getting started” stage of their innovation journey: You’ve formed a business around your exciting new idea or concept, are looking for some initial research and development (R&D) funding, and would benefit from starting your own in-house  R&D to put you on the path towards commercial success

The grant comes in two parts, which work in parallel:

  1. First project funding
    Applicants will also put forward a proposed plan and budget for their first structured R&D project, to push forward their new idea or concept. This first R&D project often has the steepest learning curve and the most exciting, future defining outputs, and provides vital hands-on experience to use for many years to come.
  2. Building skills and capabilities
    Our scientists, engineers and R&D experts have identified six areas of essential skills and capabilities that innovators should possess to become long term R&D performers. Applicants choose learning activities that are most likely to fill skill gaps,directly impact the progress of their idea and enhance their R&D project.. These activities include a broad range of training courses, workshops, internal assessments and other forms of learning.

If eligible, you could receive up to $400,000 in Government co-funding (40% of a $1m project) to create your first structured, in-house R&D project, whilst actively building your team’s skills and capabilities across six key areas, as identified by our scientists, engineers and R&D experts.

Every business is unique, so your R&D should be unique too. All of this new and unique knowledge has a positive impact on the innovation ecosystem, which in turn plays a vital role in driving economic growth and future prosperity in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Time to start your venture’s first “proper” R&D project? Get in touch with your Auckland Business Chamber Customer Navigator, or visit our website to find out more.


Have any questions? We’re happy to help

For specific advice and access to government support that is currently available please contact 0800 543 543  or email your enquiry to [email protected]

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