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Early success with the Co.Starters programme run in Buller has inspired DWC to secure the licence for the programme and roll out other Co.Starter courses in Westland and Grey.

Co.Starters is a nine week programme aimed at providing budding entrepreneurs with new skills to help them turn their ideas into action and thriving endeavours. Originally starting in America, Co.Starters was brought to New Zealand in 2015 and is now in seven areas around the country.

Last year 36 participants graduated from the Buller programme with phenomenal results – 11 new businesses were established, 16 new full time equivalent positions created, and the participating businesses collectively attracted over $150,000 in start-up funding.

A Co.Starters course recently finished in Westport which involved 15 enthusiastic participants. They were supported by facilitators Eamon Ginley and Natasha Barnes-Dellaca, along with weekly talks from local speakers who shared their own experiences in business with the group.

The Westport participants finished on a high, pitching their businesses to a gathering of 60 people. Their first alumni meet-up will be held on 6 December at EPIC Westport with all past Co.Starter participants welcome. To attend please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Hokitika cohort, run by WestREAP, will be holding its celebration night on the 30th November.

The next round of Co.Starters is looking to get underway early in 2018. If you would like to register your interest, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..