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You don’t have to live in a big city to create a thriving international company.

Business growth advisor Peter Davey, who regularly travels around Waikato to meet with entrepreneurs, knows this better than most. Part of a Waikato Innovation Park team focused on fostering business growth in the regions, Davey is always impressed with the innovation and talent he finds in regional communities.

AdroitCreationsBusiness growth advisor for Hauraki

In late 2014, he began working with Paeroa-based software development company Adroit Creations, and immediately saw the IT firm’s potential and passion for supporting the Hauraki Region.

My first reaction was ‘wow!’” says Davey. “I thought it was fantastic and very forward thinking to see a business like this starting in Paeroa.

Adroit Creations co-founder and Chief of Customer Experience Nic Edmonds is a strong believer you can be innovative and creative anywhere, but he and his wife Donna Haynes (Adroit’s co-founder and development director) chose Paeroa as the place to launch and grow their business because they believe investing in heartland communities is the way of the future.

We looked at Auckland and Sydney before making our choice, but Paeroa ticked the box for many reasons,” says Edmonds. “Paeroa offers a great lifestyle. The cost and ease of living is better than a bigger city. It’s easier to own your own home, and renting office space is cheaper. We don’t get stuck in traffic for hours – heavy traffic in Paeroa is five minutes.

Small town living attractive

Living in Paeroa has also been a drawcard for employees and new recruits.

In just over two years the company has grown from two to nine staff members, one of them a top developer from WeChat, a Chinese social media application with more than 938 million active daily users.

He wanted the job because his three-year-old had never played on real grass. They wanted to replace the Beijing smog with fresh air and a home with a backyard,” says Edmonds.

Practical business advice

He says the support of Davey and the Business Growth Services team over the last few years has been incredibly valuable, both in terms of practical advice based on experience, and connections and networking. For instance, when the company had an immigration issue with a staff member Business Growth Services was able to connect them with an immigration consultant to work it out.

As a small business it can be hard – everything is on you and it can be a lonely road. They were there to reassure us that other start-ups go through the same ups and downs, and that we were doing well.

Davey says helping businesses make connections is a big part of what they do at Business Growth Services.

You don’t know what you don’t know in business,” he says.

Often you need someone from the outside to open up doors for you, or to offer a new way of looking at things. That is what we do.

Hauraki District Council’s economic development team began developing a relationship with Waikato Innovation Park and Callaghan Institute a few years ago and was the first of five rural Waikato councils to sign up to the initiative.

The Council’s Economic Development Committee Chair Toby Adams, who is also Deputy Mayor, urges all local entrepreneurs, inventors or business owners interested in growing their business to take advantage of this free opportunity.

Waikato Innovation Park

Waikato Innovation Park business growth advisers are all experienced business people with years of knowledge and experience to share. They also have great networks and contacts, access to co-funding, and can put people in touch with mentors and experts,” he said. “We’re really excited they’ve seen the potential for business growth in Hauraki.

Business Growth Advisors are available the first Tuesday of every month in the Paeroa Council office (or by appointment).

Contact a Business Growth Services business advisor on 07 857 0538 or businessgrowth@wipltd.co.nz

For more information see www.wipltd.co.nz/what-we-do/grow-your-business

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