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Strengthening our collective muscle during GEW

Every year in November the whānau goes through a phase of rapid prototyping and experimentation. We brainstorm a hoard of events, formats, and topics. We see who wants to hold what. Then we pack it all into the schedule for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) in Tairāwhiti. It’s an opportunity to mahi up as a collective, create lots of positive collisions and embody our emergent way of working.

One of the things that really stood out during this year’s GEW was the growth and stretch of our whānau members operating in this collective space. There were a lot of firsts for people, from hosting an event, to speaking in public. It’s not always comfortable doing new things. But by stepping into spaces of leadership, no matter how small, we give expression to our kaupapa.

Kickstarting the aroha economy from Tairāwhiti is not just about entrepreneurship and innovation. It's also about how we show up in our community and express a give-first attitude within our daily mahi. It’s about digging deep and planting lots of seeds. It requires growth in autonomy and agility, skills that strengthen our collective muscle. And it only works when we are highly observant and take the time to check in on a spiritual level. As one of our whānau said: “Once you get the wairua bit right, the rest just flows.”

We are deeply grateful to our whānau for digging deep and hosting an amazingly diverse week of events, to our community for always being curious and keen to connect, and to our wider whānau across the motu who show up again and again to share their time and skills here in Tairāwhiti.

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) week is initiated by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and people from about 165 countries worldwide participate in about 35,000 events each year. It brings together entrepreneurs, community, policymakers, researchers, educators, and creatives. This was the fourth year we celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week in Tairāwhiti with 15 events and about 250-300 participants. The program included “kidpreneur” pitches, a night market, sector based talks, hands-on workshops, and of the opening of the Haututu Hacklab.



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