Starting a business

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Green Office - Sink CC By: World Resources Institute Staff

This is a project plan for developing a course in planning for small business sustainably. The Starting a Business course will be a short, part time, blended course designed generically and available to anyone. It will use a text book, calendar of events, seminars and workshops to support the text, and a business plan pitching event to complete assessment and the course.

The text is based on the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) texts, Starting a business and Planning for Success. After negotiating copyright release, this project will expand on and add a practical sustainability framework, and create a new business plan template and guide called Sustainable Business. The Wikibook will be produced into a printed book,

The course will schedule seminars, workshops, lectures and tutorials to pace and support people in their efforts to follow the new text, learn about business planning and to complete a business plan via the template.

Assessment will follow New Zealand Unit Standards, with the completed business plan, along with a pitch made to an assessment panel, serving as the evidence for assessment.

Plans of excellence will be invited into business incubation by participating agencies, and/or investors.



Objectives cross out means objective achieved.

Development Plan

This project aims to:

  1. Produce a text developed in partnership between the NZTE, Centre for Sustainable Practices, Otago Polytechnic educational developers, and a local design business.
  2. Establish a schedule of workshops and seminars offered by the IRD, Otago Chamber of Commerce, Kick Start, Queenstown Resilient Business Programme, and Otago Polytechnic School of Applied Business
  3. Development a course at Otago Polytechnic's Educational Development Centre and School of Applied Business, and learning support services and facilitation by Otago Polytechnic's Community Learning Centres that is freely available to anyone and funded through EFTS.



Links to local events



Year One – 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010
Milestone 1
Finish 1st draft of sustainability content into the NZTE text: Starting a business: Determine whether your business idea will work - including editing.
Due date
Estimated cost
$6400 (excluding GST)

Milestone 2
Design and produce first draft online and for print
Due date
Estimated cost
$3200 (excluding GST)
Milestone 3
Develop final version of text online and in print, includes writing, editing, design and production.
Due date
Estimated cost
$9600 (excluding GST)
Milestone 4
Coordinate and schedule existing seminars and workshops for "summer break" and 2010.

Schedule new seminar or workshops as needed and to course budget

Due date
Estimated cost
$2000 (excluding GST)
Milestone 5
Design and develop Starting a Sustainable Business course for "summer period". Refine for 2010.
Due date
Estimated cost
$12000 (excluding GST)
Milestone 6
Project coordination and reporting throughout
Due date
Estimated cost
$4700 (excluding GST)
Estimated project cost for Year 1 (A)
$37900 (excluding GST)

Progress notes

January 2010

30 November


14 July

First stakeholder meeting was held, attended by:

  1. Dunedin City Council, Audacious business awards
  2. Department of Inland Revenue
  3. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
  4. Otago Chamber of Commerce
  5. Otago Polytechnic's business school and community learning centres

9 July

Funding approved and contracts signed and sent. Meeting with stakeholders has been arranged for 11 am on Tuesday 14 July in the Common Room (cnr of Bath and George St Dunedin CBD) to touch base on the project plan and to try and find ways to compliment each other's efforts. Chris Young will be contracted as a lead editor on the NZTE based workbook, and starts by breaking down the structure of the NZTE text to its Chapters, sections and topics, ready for discussion about what sustainability topics fit in where.

5 June

Final plan and budget submitted to the Sustainable Management Fund. Here's a copy of the plan. Thanks to Eileen Delahunty from the Sustainable Management Fund team for her support in bringing this plan together.

17 March

copy of the initial approval letter

Contacted by Sustainabale Management Fund to advise that our initial application was successful and that we are now in stage 2 where a Fund respresentative will assist us to develop a full proposal for the funding to develop this project.

2 March

Brigid Casey sent through the link to the Audacious Business Awards events calender. This link has been added to the section called "course" with the view that other calendars and events like this will be gathered so we can try and create a course schedule around them all.

24 February

No word from SMF yet, but Tracy Kennedy from the Fashion School has published a development plan that has potential synergy with this project - both in objectives and timing.

16 Jan 2009

Leigh Blackall is applying to the SMF for funding as per budget above, with necessary changes to meet SMF requirements.

31 Oct 2008

With assistance from Tamara Skevington from Dunedin NZTE, copyrights were negotiated between Otago Polytechnic and NZTE to permit Otago Polytechnic to make a derivative work from the Starting a Business text. That derivative will be released under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

15 Oct 2008

Leigh Blackall attended IRD's GST workshop and proposed to the workshop coordinator that Otago Polytechnic aimed to set up a calendar of free workshops and events like the IRD workshops, that would help people complete their business plans using the free text being developed. The IRD representative was supportive of the idea.

23 Aug 2008

Met with key stakeholders in Otago and determined that a new course targeting undergraduates at Otago Polytechnic would be appropriate and would assist the existing business development services in Otago. People agreed that the NZTE text was the best text to base the course on.

Aug 2008

Leigh Blackall, Educational Developer for Otago Polytechnic, has been working with Hillary Jenkins, Programme Manager for Travel and Tourism. In that programme is a course called Small Business Planning - this will run as a template course that other departments can use to prepare their students for planning and running a small business in their respective fields, post study.

See also

External links and resources

Create a book