First thank you for inviting me to be part of this exciting occasion.
As a former Minister of Commerce, I am absolutely blown away by the collaborations that help innovation happen in our city.
Start Me Up was developed and funded by a partnership between ChristchurchNZ and MSD; and delivered by the Ministry of Awesome and ThincLab. That is the city and the government partnering with community creatives and innovators along with our tertiary institutions. What a fantastic model.
Second can I acknowledge all the participants – you have literally put yourselves out there, taken a risk, at the same time as many of you were in the throes of adjusting to an uncertain future as a result of COVID and staring down the barrel of unemployment.
That takes real courage. So congratulations.
Third, can I acknowledge the breadth and depth of ideas you have been working on – wow!
I have heard that many of you have said the programme has helped you learn fundamental business knowledge, gain new skills for employability and most importantly build the confidence you need to embark on your own journey.
I have to say that these ‘entrepreneurial capability’ skills are going to stand you in good stead no matter where that journey takes you. Employers are looking for these skills as well as investors.
I haven’t started up my own business, but I bet I have had the privilege of meeting many more business owners than most due to my roles.
So many of them have shared with me that in starting out they have had those moments where the fear of failure takes grip, but true grit has carried them through.
So, know this – failure is the stepping-stone to success with the right attitude. As the saying goes, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Failure tells you what not to do next time. That’s why it is important to keep going.
Again, thanks to ChristchurchNZ, our council’s economic development agency, & MSD, delivery partners Ministry of Awesome and ThincLab, and a huge thank you to supporters Karl Waretini, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, Business Mentors NZ, Te Puni Kōkiri, Ashburton District Council, Selwyn District Council and Westpac.
Ōtautahi Christchurch’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem was recently honoured with an award of its own for ‘Best Practice for Integrated Economic Development Planning’.
And your success is the “why” that we are all working to support.