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Icehouse scholarships available: Do you own a business, are under 35 and want to undergo the Owner Manager Programme?

Under 35? Keen to conquer the world with your business? Icehouse has some funds for you to learn how.

Business owners can now tap into 18 scholarships for those who harbour dreams of fast-tracking their business through the Owner Manager Programme run by the Icehouse.

To qualify for the programme, your company must have a turnover in excess of $3m, with the opportunity for growth. Applicants also need to have equity stake in and management control of the business. Special consideration will also be given to those under 35s, females, exporters or people from diverse groups.

The Icehouse, founded in 2001, is a business growth hub which, among others, helps businesses reach their next stage of growth. These scholarships are made possible by the generous donations of a few successful kiwi business people.

Prolife Foods, success of the Bernie and Kaye Crosby

Two of the donators to the fund are Bernie and Kaye Crosby from Prolife Foods. The Hamilton couple have kick-started the scholarship fund with a huge donation of $100,000. This money is aimed at helping Waikato businesses in need of a hand up.

Their contribution to the fund will see six businesses supported onto the Owner Manager Programme every year for the next three years and they are particularly keen to support businesses from their Waikato region.

Crosby has been involved with The Icehouse and more specifically the Owner Manager Programme since he attended the programme in 2003. He says it was instrumental in helping him take the business forward after losing a third of it to an Australian supplier.

“The Owner Manager Programme provided a grand opportunity to develop a sustainable business plan for Prolife Foods, which would be globally best practice and would see us continuing with that plan for many years to come to develop our international and innovational capabilities. Today we still have that as our basis and platform for doing business. Our business employs 1,000 scattered between New Zealand and Australia and we have increased turnover 10-12 times,” he says.

Due to their success, the Crosbys are determined to help out other local businesses looking to grow and Crosby says that if they can do it, so can many others.

Other donors and investing in Kiwi growth

Other donators to the fund include: Graham and Anne Catley, founders of Stolthaven Australasia and participants on the Owner Manager Programme in 2001; and Impact Capital Management.

Andy Hamilton, CEO of The Icehouse says without the support of these companies and people, this fund wouldn’t have been possible.

“This is such an important investment to kiwi businesses and the NZ economy. It will enable us to work with more owner-managers through the programme and help them grow. The donations from the sponsors have made this all possible. These people are passionate about what we do and want to enable us to continue our mission of growing the SME sector”.

Application closes May 1

Applications for Scholarships for the July programme are open now and close 1 May. For more visit www.theicehouse.co.nz/scholarship-fund.

The Icehouse hopes to grow the Scholarship Fund even further by the end of the year.

The Owner Manager Programme is a five-month journey where owner-managers develop business skills, address issues in the company and hone their business plan to drive the business forward to greater success. Owner-managers learn from over 30 business experts and the content is a mixture of business theory and practical experience.

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