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.
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
ShadowTech Day: how local businesses can empower future female tech leaders
ShadowTech Day was formally hosted in the Waikato for the first time in 2023, showcasing technology career opportunities for young girls in years 9-11. Delivered by Tech Women NZ and NZ Tech, ShadowTech Day aims to spark interest in the world of technology for female students and inspire them towards promising educational paths in the tech sector.
The Value of Local Business Events
Last week, Te Waka CEO Fiona Carrick had the privilege of being a judge for the Matamata-Piako District Council Business Night Out awards, an event that showcased the outstanding achievements of local businesses.
How Code Avengers is bridging the digital education divide
Code Avengers is on a mission to ensure that every student, regardless of background, can excel in the digital world. The Waikato-based company is making waves across New Zealand and the Pacific by helping to address the tech skills gap shortage and underrepresentation of indigenous communities in tech.
Tiaki in Waitomo shines a light on regenerative tourism in iconic destination
A new initiative, ‘Tiaki in Waitomo’, has been launched by Hamilton & Waikato Tourism to shine a light on the ability of tourism to make a meaningful and positive contribution to the environment, community wellbeing and cultural storytelling, as well as the economy.