03 September 2012

Grow NZ - Westpac launches SME workshops

Westpac has launched specialised SME workshops to arm small businesses with essential financial tools as part of its Grow New Zealand programme.

After participating in the first workshop of a nation wide rollout held in Hastings today, Westpac CEO Peter Clare said the content was framed in response to what small businesses told the bank they needed. Workshops will look at helping small business owners understand funding and financial management, sustaining cash flow and managing for growth.

“We listened to what small business owners across the country told us they need in order to grow their business,” Mr Clare said. “SME’s are the engine room of the New Zealand economy and it’s important they have the skills they need to be the best they can be.”
The workshops are available nation-wide and are delivered by local bankers. They are targeted at SMEs employing between 5-25 people and/or a turnover of $100k to $10M. Westpac developed managing your money workshops for consumers with more than 58,000 completing one online or in person since 2006. This year, more than 14,000 have participated.

The SME workshops will only be available in person, in their local communities, as feedback from business owners was they wanted not only up-skilling of their financial knowledge but the opportunity to network as well.

The Grow New Zealand programme started last year with more than 15 forums held across the country with civic and business leaders. In addition, 1000 businesses were surveyed. The purpose was to identify what was needed for business to have the confidence to grow post the global financial crisis.

Two key areas were identified where Westpac can provide thought leadership and practical assistance – education and leadership. On-going programmes have been developed in each area with Westpac linking with Massey University on a number of significant projects while new initiatives to help civic and business leaders across the country will be unveiled shortly.

“Westpac has a responsibility to New Zealanders beyond its core business and we are committed to meeting that responsibility. The Grow New Zealand programme is a key part of that,” Mr Clare said.


SME workshops
· Available nationwide
· Focussing on three key areas:
- Funding and financial management
- Sustaining cash flow
- Managing for growth
· Targeted at businesses employing between 5-25 people and/or a turnover of $100k to $10M

Managing Your Money Workshops
· More than 58,000 Kiwis have completed a course since 2006
· More than 14,ooo completed this year