A Chance To Shine With One Oh Nine
Forever grateful for the mentors, role models and business training that she received as part of her career, local Mangawhai resident Carol has embarked on a mission to pay it forward. Through her 20 year career in IT and Consumer Electronics, she has gained extensive experience in all aspects of business. “It has taken me a number of years to embrace my story, to believe in myself, and to feel enough when surrounded by people who are more ‘qualified’ than me,” she says.
After a couple of years of being sponsored into Senior Women in Leadership courses, the passion to give back was ignited and ‘One Oh Nine’ was born. “Our mission was to simply share business knowledge that enables people to pursue their passions – whatever that support may look like,” says Carol.
After initially offering a range of services from mentoring, coaching and marketing through to practical advice and grants Carol quickly realised she was going to struggle to scale her vision. To successfully be able to support more businesses she would need to find a way to scale both her services and the ability to offer financial support to start-ups. She tapped into the resources she had through her IT background and looked at options to bring the social enterprise to life online and make the service accessible to more New Zealand small businesses at minimal cost, whilst generating revenue to support more grants.
“I am very passionate about giving small business the tools to allow them to look and feel like big business. I have been lucky to launch successful start-up businesses through my career, but it’s been with the backing of a corporate. Through my husband’s small, local business I quickly realised the responsibility once you start hiring employees - you literally become responsible for both their and their family’s well-being. We wanted to find a way to simplify ‘starting out’ and genuinely help where we could.”
Through their online service they bring insights from the corporate world back to hungry Kiwi businesses. If you don’t know how to start growing your business, One Oh Nine can help. They understand research is exhausting, and the vision is to be the one-stop-shop for all the tools, content and networks to get going.
The team at One Oh Nine know that equal access to tools and resources to start your dream career are key. “We get a kick out of seeing entrepreneurs succeed with good ideas followed through with some old-fashioned dedication.”
One Oh Nine Events was the first recipient of the grant as Carol was inspired by Natasha’s story of triumph overcoming diversity. Before moving to the coastal town of Mangawhai, Natasha was an accomplished regional Manager for a high-end fashion brand in Auckland. She had a team, worked with a diverse group of customers, was incredibly creative and business savvy.
“Tash had a real passion to start an events business, she studied, got qualified, researched and in theory was ready to go,” says Carol.
“But then the ‘imposter syndrome’ kicked in – was she good enough for this? Could she really make the impact to be successful? Could she find the balance she needed to cover one of her key values, family?”
Her inner critic said no, she didn’t have the skills, time or money. However, with a bit of coaching, support and practical business advice she has created an amazing business in Mangawhai focusing on weddings, corporate and private events. “I am firm believer in taking a chance on someone - if you can see passion and drive in them the potential is there,” says Carol.
“I love being along for the journey, enabling people to bring their dreams to life is the reason we started One Oh Nine.”