Pacific Business Hub officially opened in Auckland

A uniquely Pacific co-working space, The Pacific Business Hub was officially launched in Manukau on Friday, a year after the concept was created by entrepreneur Laura Keil-Hall.

The Sharkey Street office currently has 18 businesses sharing the space, and splitting the various bills between them through tailored packages.

Ms. Keil-Hall, a former Bank of New Zealand business manager, wanted to invite Pacific businesses to take the necessary steps to build their businesses, but in a way that would actually work for them. 

With a mission statement to “enable, empower and enrich” its members, the Business Hub has grown into a space where businesses can seek practical help, and work in a professional environment.

Many businesses moving into the Hub previously worked out of their own homes, on whatever surface they could find some space on. Meeting clients and furthering the businesses out of a kitchen or garage can prove challenging, Ms. Keil-Hall said.

“When people feel empowered they gain the confidence to pursue whatever aspirations they may have.

“The end goal we want from being enabled and feeling empowered, is enriching our lives, not just ours but everyone else around us.”

The venue has also been used to host one-day stores for Pacific businesses, including several vendors who lost their space at the 2019 Pasifika Festival. 

Some of the businesses who have set up shop at the Hub include accounting firm Agniu Accounting, graphic design and photography firm Bluwave Galumoana, and barrister Kirsty Morgan, specialist in faily law.

Ms. Morgan is a Cook Islander, and said the community of the Hub is part of what makes it a success, and helps its members succeed too.

“People genuinely want to see you succeed and that’s the best kind of place to start your business,” she said.

Ms. Keil-Hall, who also owns her own consultancy firm LFH Consulting, eventually wants to move into offering mentoring for businesses in the Hub, helping new ventures kick start and maintain their businesses.

She said often, people need a “quality conversation” where they get to express their needs and capacity, and ask for help if they need it.

Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio attended the official launch and said the Hub shows how many Pacific people are boldly entering the private sector

“Members of the Pacific Hub represent a fast growing number of Pacific peoples of Aotearoa who are leading in innovation and exploring new income-generating pathways,” he later wrote on Facebook.

“When Pacific peoples succeed, thrive and prosper we are also contributing to enriching Aotearoa New Zealand.”

The making of the Hub is in-line with its working ethos. Ms. Keil-Hall said she was quick to ask for help when she needed it from her community and networking, like the Samoa Business Network, the PACIFICA organization, and her own family too. 

Though it has been in operation for a year, the launch party was a celebration of the year that was: a collaboration between Pacific businesses people with a mind to improve working conditions for everyone.

The Pacific Business Hub is located at 9 Sharkey Street, Manukau City. Contact: 09 218 8273 or [email protected]

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