For Māori owned and operated businesses, there are a wide range of funding sources, programs and networks to help grow your company to success. But finding the right option for your business can be overwhelming.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the key funding opportunities and programs to help fuel your business’s success.

Māori Business Services

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise assists a wide range of entities and businesses by offering specialist business services.

From support provided by a specialist Māori business team to connections with tailored investment and funding opportunities, there are many ways in which the NZTE can help.

Their network of both government and non-government agencies offer an invaluable system from which to support the growth of your business. Their specialist teams work with a wide range of Māori-owned entities and businesses, and even if they can’t assist you with your particular funding needs, they can help connect you with another organisation that may be able to.

To find out more, visit the NZTE website here.

Māori Business Owners’ Program

Pakihi Māori is a Māori enterprise, part of the Ngāhere Foundation, that was established around half a decade ago. Their Māori business owners’ program assists small and medium sized businesses to build the skills and knowledge needed for their business success, including how to access and find funding. 

While the services are free, participants are required to submit to a needs-based assessment so that the support provided best suits their circumstances.

Between the collaborative spaces and co-designed programmes, Pakihi Māori has helped numerous organisations across key areas of their respective businesses, such as:

  • Organisational management
  • Finance management
  • Market strategy
  • Marketing and sales
  • Conducting risk assessments
  • Improving digital capability

Plus, their access to local business and Māori business networks and regional knowledge can assist your business in finding additional sources of funding as required. 

Māori Business Growth Fund

The Māori Business Growth Fund is administered by Te Puni Kōkiri and directly aims to provide more than just information and advice but also the setting up of business relationships. The initiative focuses on existing small to medium sized Māori enterprises actively looking to grow and scale. 

Progressive Procurement

The Progressive Procurement program is also administered by the Te Puni Kōkiri team to assist businesses with connecting to government agencies in New Zealand looking to promote local and Māori procurement.

While not technically a source of funding, if you are at least a 50% Māori-owned business, you could benefit financially from the program and lift your operational capacity through the progressive procurement strategies. 

To find out more, visit the Te Puni Kōkiri website.

Māori Innovation Fund

Every year the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment opens up submissions for the Māori Innovation Fund. This economic development program ties into the Crown Māori Economic Strategy and Action Plan.

The Innovation Fund is aimed at supporting Māori business contribution to the New Zealand economy across a range of industries, including the primary sector and tourism among others.

To find out more about the Fund and periods during which the Ministry is accepting applications, click here.

Poutama Trust

The Poutama Trust is an independent trust that has been providing support and business development services to the Māori business community since 1988.

The fund’s purpose is to support successful Māori-owned business ventures and facilitate ongoing development of the Māori sector. 

Funding provided by Poutama can assist with any or all of the following:

  • Business development planning
  • Trade missions
  • Enforcement of intellectual property rights
  • Feasibility study
  • Product development
  • Professional consultation
  • Product/service purchasing
  • Financing equipment, IT systems and marketing materials
  • Staff procurement, training and upskilling
  • Management support

The Fund does have a number of conditions and eligibility criteria, however, so make sure to visit their website here to find out more.

Pacific Business Trust 

The Pacific Business Trust provides a professionally-managed fund and loan program for businesses owned and operated by those people of Pacific Island descent. 

The Trust does require some contribution from applicants and the secured loans do have limits of amount and term-length. However, they also offer business advisers to support Māori on their road to success. 

To find out more about the details of the funding and check eligibility criteria, visit their website today.

Acceleration Program – Kōkiri 

While there are a number New Zealand-based acceleration programs, Kōkiri focuses on Māori-led businesses, particularly those that are impact positive and technology enabled. 

The program is only available for existing and registered businesses with ambitions to grow internationally. It aims to accelerate your business’s progress not just through grant fund opportunities but also through team development and capability building. 

Applications for the program are not open year-round, so visit their website for more details.

Government Funding – non-Māori specific

The New Zealand government and local/regional councils provide grants and funding opportunities. While many of these are not exclusive opportunities for Māori-owned businesses, many offer strong funding potential, as well as advisors, business specialists and networks.

Business-specific Funding Solutions with ScotPac

ScotPac New Zealand works with many SMEs, of all sizes and levels of complexities, including Māori businesses. Our flexible and fast funding solutions, such as Trade Finance and Invoice Finance, allow existing and growing businesses funding to help fuel growth and ensure access to reliable working capital.

If you’d like to discuss funding opportunities or financial facilities available for your business, give our team a call today. We’d be happy to provide customised advice about how to ensure your business can obtain the funds it needs to succeed to its utmost potential.