As we crack open the box hair dye, try to cook our own Indian takeaways, and start DIYs that we should really leave to the experts, Kiwis are missing small businesses. That sentiment has been shared by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and other prominent Kiwis, who have rallied behind free online support forum Manaaki.io in a video love letter.
The video features first responders, Manaaki advisor Chloe Van Dyke (Chia Sisters), and prominent Kiwis including Minister for Small Business Stuart Nash, Stan Walker, Joseph Parker, UFC World Champion Israel Adesanya, and New Zealanders of the Year Jennifer Ward-Lealand CNZM and Dr Lance O’Sullivan – all showing support for the platform and small business owners.
Business owners seeking advice or support can visit www.Manaaki.io to ask a question, with answers generally being delivered within 1 hour, free of charge. Users can also ‘vote up’ questions and respond to others.
Manaaki.io co-founder Pat MacFie says, “We were overwhelmed with the manaaki we received from New Zealanders who wanted to share their love for small businesses. In fact, we had so many people come to us, we couldn’t fit them all into the video. Hopefully with this incredible force behind Manaaki, we can reach and help as many businesses as possible.”
Created by MacFie’s innovation company Indigo on March 25 in response to the effect of COVID-19 on small business, Manaaki.io has had more than 11,000 visitors to its site, and is facilitating hundreds of conversations at no cost between business owners and its over 100 experts and advisors across 19 categories.
“We set up Manaaki to help small businesses like ourselves navigate an entirely new set of challenges.
“What began as a business advisory platform, is turning into a national movement of Kiwis rallying together to support each other through this crisis, and proves that the spirit of manaaki is in all of us.”
Manaaki.io co-founder Andy Hamilton says, “In times like these, hope is important. And across the community we are seeing an incredible support base of advisors, experts and small business owners coming together to help each other get through and even thrive.”
Manaaki.io is co-founded by Monty Betham and Pat & Jada MacFie, with partners Dillon Boucher MNZM, Ardie Savea, Andy Hamilton ONZM and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.