The Waikato is home to hundreds of thriving businesses whose people enjoy the economic, social and lifestyle benefits our region has to offer.
There is a wide variety of business support options available in the Waikato, use this page to explore which option is best for your business.
Business Support Programmes
Business Advisory Service
Soda Inc. is the new Regional Business Partner for the Waikato.
Soda is part of the Regional Business Partner network (RBP). Their Business Growth Advisors can connect you with business support services such as capability development funding and training, and research & development (R&D) services and grants.
If you are a business seeking advice and support to help you grow, find out more here.
Access to support from New Zealand Business Mentors is available to Waikato businesses.
Mentees will have up to 12 months' access to a Business Mentor who will help you develop your business and yourself as a business owner. Apply to become a New Zealand Business Mentee or Mentor here.
Digital Boost Programme
The Digital Boost Programme is a free tool Kiwi businesses can use to future-proof their business with a wide range of information specifically for digital skill development.
A free set of resources and programmes are available to help you bring your business online with confidence.
Visit Digital Boost to discover the digital skills to boost your business.
Created to support early-stage Kiwi founders, Startup Aotearoa provides personalised one-to-one coaching sessions.
Regardless of business stage, industry, or location, Startup Aotearoa supports budding entrepreneurs to build their capabilities and turn their ideas into thriving startups.
Connect with a startup coach here.
There is a wide variety of free online tools and services available to Waikato businesses to support action on climate and sustainability:
- The Climate Action Toolbox offers practical guidance and business case studies to tackle climate change one step at a time.
- Climate Connect Aotearoa brings together organisations, investors and innovators to solve climate solutions. Check out their ClimateLink tool here.
- Cogo offers free business carbon accounting software for Xero and Kiwibank customers. The service automatically calculates a small business's carbon footprint based on your financial data and provides advice that is good for the climate and your bottom line.
- EECA (Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority NZ) provides a directory for climate co-funding and support options.
- The EROAD Emissions Calculator is an AI-powered tool tailored for New Zealand fleets, providing users with an overview of their emissions profile and suggestions for emissions reduction, alongside potential savings.
- The Sustainable Business Council offers a range of guides on a wide variety of climate topics for businesses.
- The Sustainable Business Network offers online climate tools with a focus on small businesses.
Networks & Sector Support
Multiple business networks and sector support organisations are available to connect and assist businesses in the Waikato region. These include:
- Creative Waikato is the regional arts organisation for the Waikato. They provide creative capability development for artists and arts organisations, advocacy, research and strategic direction and support for sustainable arts, culture and creativity in the region.
- The Forestry Advisory Service provides advice to landowners who are interested in growing trees. They can help you determine the right tree, in the right place, for the right purpose, and can help you access specific support if you need it.
- The On Farm Support service provides on-the-ground help for farmers and growers via a Waikato regional advisor.
- Te Hūmeka Māori Business Network supports Waikato-based Māori businesses and provides platforms for them to network on a local, national, and international scale.
- Waikato-Tainui’s Pakihi Support service is available for registered tribal members that are running a business, consultancy or have a side-hustle.
- The Waikato Pacific Business Network works to grow more sustainable, more profitable, and well-connected Pacific owned businesses and professionals in the Waikato region.
- The Waikato-Hauraki-Coromandel Rural Support Trust works with primary producers during challenging times, providing free one-on-one confidential support for farmers and growers.
Business Chambers & Associations
There are many business chambers and associations operating in the Waikato region. These membership organisations support and advocate on behalf of local businesses. Find your nearest business chamber or association here:
Regional Tourism Organisations
A Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) looks after destination marketing for your region, and is responsible for promoting your region to domestic and international tourists. Across the broader Waikato region we have three RTOs who work to identify opportunities for tourism promotion and highlight the benefits of spending time in the Waikato. Find your local RTO below:
Latest Business News
Better together – Gr8 Job Hauraki’s nailing it!
When business owner Rob Mapu of Centre Line Construction, considers what helped him to grow his new business with confidence, he said it was the trust that he had in Gr8 Job Hauraki’s recruitment programme that nailed it.
Nothing Naughty, a taste of Tīrau in a bar
The mind behind a successful health foods brand straight out of Tīrau says it’s a “no brainer” making treats without the naughty stuff.
Native mushroom found to contain brainy compound
A local mushroom company has collaborated with Callaghan Innovation to scientifically confirm that the native Pekepeke-kiore mushroom, Hericium novae-zealandiae, contains compounds that are good for cognitive health. Photo: Mynd
Waikato and Pacific voices championed at the APEC Leaders Summit 2023
Waikato Pacific Business Network Chairperson and WEL Energy Trust Chair Rachel Afeaki represented the Waikato on the global stage at this year’s APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in San Francisco last month, which she attended as a member of the New Zealand delegation.