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Brownies And Beekeeping

Two Inspiring Stories Of Starting A Business

Brownies And Beekeeping

Twice now Hannah Airey has lost her income. It’s devastating but as Hannah says, “it’s also given me strength I never might have known I had.” In February 2021 Hannah was one of the participants of Start Me Up, a programme, designed to support jobseekers with the opportunity to learn what it takes to become self-employed.

Hannah’s strength it turned out, came in the form of ‘ridiculously delicious’ low allergen brownies and so her business, Badass Brownies, was born. Hannah credits Start Me Up with helping provide her business with structure and opening up a city-wide support network.

 

Badass Brownies Hannah Airey

The programme drilled into crucial areas of business. It gave me the opportunity to revalidate my idea and taught me the importance of continuing to validate as the business grows,"

Hannah Airey - Badass Brownies

“The programme drilled into crucial areas of business. It gave me the opportunity to revalidate my idea and taught me the importance of continuing to validate as the business grows,” says Hannah. Start Me Up, provided Hannah, along with over 100 participants with online masterclasses on key business skills including who their customers could be, what problem the business would solve, how to get sales and measure progress. From the initial intake, 25 were then invited to take part in the second phase of the programme which featured in-depth classes, mentoring and one on one sessions with an extensive network of Christchurch’s business leaders and innovators.

Kathryn Jer, was another Start Me Up participant and through the programme has found a way to combine her two passions of teaching and bees. Clever Little Bees provides apiculture classes, a hands-on beekeeping experience, in a safe environment for adults and children.

“I wouldn’t have considered beginning a new career without the guidance and support of the Start Me Up team, through the tutors and in-depth teaching material I learnt the foundational knowledge for setting up a business and developed the confidence and belief in myself,” says Kathryn.

 

I wouldn’t have considered beginning a new career without the guidance and support of the Start Me Up team, through the tutors and in-depth teaching material I learnt the foundational knowledge for setting up a business and developed the confidence and belief in myself,”

Kathryn Jer - Clever Little Bees

Clever Little Bees has come a long way in its first few months. Kathryn is part way through delivering an after-school programme at Phillipstown Community Hub and Seven Oaks School, has just completed her first school holiday programme and is already looking for interest in the December/January intake (you can find out more on that here). Kathryn will also be teaching classes to students from eight primary and high schools at the Climate Action Campus, a satellite of Ao Tawhiti Discovery Unlimited.

Kathryn’s goal for her business is to give as many students the opportunity to learn about the important role bees play within our society.

And as for Hannah? She’s on a mission to be the top supplier of easily accessible low allergen delicious brownies. But Hannah also has a goal to give back to the community and to support women who have been in similar positions as herself, being left with nothing, by supporting women women to re-enter the workforce through building relevant skills and offering work shadowing opportunities. Hannah is running a PledgeMe campaign to help raise funds to secure a food truck trailer to share her brownies more widely and take the next step towards developing the programme for women.

You can find Badass Brownies at Black and White Coffee Cartel (Victoria St), Prima Roastery and Café (Brougham St), Southern Cross Hospital (Christchurch), Ben and Jerry’s (Christchurch), Totally Gluten Free Bakery (Colombo St), Gluten Free4U Bakery (Petone, Wellington), Little Lato (various locations, Auckland) and Zodiac (Christchurch).

Start Me Up was delivered through a partnership with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and ChristchurchNZ, and delivered by incubator ThincLab at the University of Canterbury’s Business School and startup hub Ministry of Awesome. The programme was also supported by Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, Te Puni Kōkiri, Ashburton District Council, Selwyn District Council and Westpac.

If you’d like to learn more about Start Me Up or register your interest for further in-takes please contact enquiries@christchurchnz.com

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