A record number of people have signed up for Kāpiti’s first PopUp Business School. Mayor K Gurunathan says the response to the no-fee programme has Kāpiti leading the Wellington region in the uptake of the course.

Kāpiti Coast District Council is supporting the course along with its iwi partnership forum Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti, WREDA (the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency), XERO and Spark.

“From Pāekākāriki to Ōtaki, over 60 people have put up their hands to commit to the ten-day course at Whitireia Kāpiti,” Mayor Guru says.

“That’s higher than either of the very successful PopUp schools already held in Upper Hutt and Porirua.

By the end of the course participants will understand the potential their idea has as a business, have a working website, and mapped a pathway to success.

“The huge level of interest here is just an indicator of how ready we are in Kāpiti to get out there and start up new business streams,” the Mayor says.

“We already know our from our economic insight reports that the relaxed lifestyle coupled with easy access to multiple, easy transport options makes Kāpiti an attractive proposition for those wanting to set up a business in our District.”

PopUp Business School Aotearoa founder Tony Henderson-Newport says the entrepreneurial spirit in Kāpiti has always been strong.

“The Kāpiti region boasts a population of about 53,000 yet it has produced three of Wellington’s most respected businesses, Tuatara Brewery, Kāpiti Cheese and Big Save Furniture,” he says.

WREDA’s Business Growth and Innovation General Manager David Jones says feedback from those who attended the first two PopUp Schools in the Wellington region – in Porirua and Upper Hutt – has been overwhelmingly positive.

“They get to learn how to start a business from scratch and they get it all for free. It really is a ground zero school for those wanting to go into business. All they need to bring is a good idea, an open mind, and a ton of energy.

“WREDA knows that if you show budding entrepreneurs the way to success, some will seize the opportunity with both hands. Helping provide that opportunity so anyone with a great idea can succeed in business is a big reason why WREDA backs the PopUp School.”

Kāpiti Coast District Council’s Economic Development Manager Sarah Todd says the course has an excellent fit with Council’s economic development focus, which is about supporting business growth and job creation.