Winners of 20 free business mentorships announced

Published on 13 May 2024

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Twenty businesses in our district have gained access to business mentorships for a year, thanks to a collaboration between our Council, local business associations and Business Mentors New Zealand (BMNZ).

Thanks to sponsorship from the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA), the recipients will be paired with a professional business mentor from BMNZ for up to 12 months.

The collaborative giveaway was run throughout April, with small businesses and organisations from across the Thames-Coromandel able to apply for a free mentorship, covering the cost of registration for the programme, usually $295 + GST.

Originally only 10 free registrations for mentorships were available from the EMA sponsorship, but the number and quality of applicants prompted EMA to sponsor an additional 10 free registrations.

A total of $5,900 worth of mentorship fees has been provided to deserving businesses in Thames-Coromandel. The value of the time and impact the mentors will provide to these 20 businesses will be much greater.

All applicants will receive information on business growth support resources and networks that they might like to access to help their business thrive.

Business Associations from Thames, Coromandel-Colville, Mercury Bay, Tairua and Whangamatā were instrumental promoting the mentoring opportunity. They continue to support local businesses through networking, events, information sharing, advocacy and promotional activities.

Faye Saunders, local business owner of the Little Gallery, Tairua and Whangamatā, was paired with a BMNZ mentor last year and found having a mentor invaluable. She was pleased to be a local face in the promotion of the free mentorship giveaway.

“We know it’s been tough, and still remains tough for businesses in our district, so business mentoring opportunities like this are fantastic. We’re really pleased to continue to work with our Business Associations on initiatives like this to strengthen our business community. My thanks to BMNZ and the EMA, and my biggest congratulations to all applicants, especially the winning recipients,” says our Mayor Len Salt.

“It is wonderful to support small businesses in the Thames-Coromandel with our friends at the EMA," says BMNZ CEO Sarah Trotman. "We know it’s been trying times with lingering storm impacts on businesses in the district. We also know the power of mentorship for small businesses in helping them to thrive is significant. It’s great to be able to deliver this opportunity in collaboration.” 

Registration for a 12-month mentorship from BMNZ mentors is usually $295+GST. Any small business or social enterprise across New Zealand is welcome to sign up. Find out more on how to connect with a mentor, or become a business mentor here.

Winners of free registration for 12-months of business mentoring:


  • Coromandel Oyster Co Ltd 
  • Hereford 'n' A Pickle 
  • Point of Difference Acupuncture 
  • The Waterworks     


  • Blackbeards Smokehouse 
  • Kopu Engineering/Kopu Marine
  • Thames Museum Te Whare Taonga o te Kauaeranga (Thames Museum Society Inc)
  • Thames Organic shop


  • Build Good Architecture
  • Two Tides Bakery Limited

Mercury Bay

  • The Bait Guy
  • Baking It 
  • Mastercraft Kitchens Whitianga 
  • Matarangi Plumbing
  • Nook - Grocer + Refills 
  • Ohvo 
  • Whiti Cross


  • Kitchenese Deli Ltd 
  • Salt District Brewing
  • The Southpacific Motel & Conference Centre



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