Studying Small Business

At eCampus NZ, we’re lucky to be a part of a diverse learning community. The eCampus NZ whānau is made up of learners from Aotearoa’s biggest cities and smallest towns. Our learners come from different age groups and cultural backgrounds, and each has a unique reason for studying with us.

But there are two things that many learners who enrol in our small business courses have in common…

  1. It all starts with an idea…

Many learners who begin our qualifications in small business plan to start, or have already started, a small business of their own.

Current learner Alison Sayer’s small business idea evolved organically from her husband Dave’s passion for woodcraft.

Dave uses locally sourced wood to make beautiful gifts and custom creations for family and friends, from chopping boards to bespoke wooden mudguards. As their Facebook page says: “No request is too bizarre!”

Over time, Alison and Dave came to realise that high quality, Kiwi made woodcraft products were in high demand. They started taking commissions and selling products online, and Bespoke By Nature NZ was born.

So, what’s their next step? “We’re hoping to turn it into a profit-generating little business,” says Alison


  1. …and the drive to make it happen

Of course, there’s more to a successful business than an idea. To set yourself up for success, you’ve got to learn how to make it happen.

Alison, who works in the airline industry and has been working reduced hours since COVID-19 struck, decided to turn a difficult situation into an opportunity and enrol in the New Zealand Certificate in Business (Introduction to Small Business).

“My husband and I have been thinking about starting a business for a few years. When my hours were reduced, I realized that it’s a good time to go for it.”

With a surge in interest in Kiwi made products and New Zealanders wanting to support locally owned businesses, now may just be the perfect time.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to starting a small business, there are certain fundamentals it’s important to master before you begin.

That’s what led Alison to eCampus NZ.

“I’ve never done anything like this and I knew I needed to do some research into what it involves. This seemed like an ideal course,” she says.

Our qualifications in small business help learners to set themselves up for success through learning about small business planning, regulatory and legal requirements, and managing effective relationships with suppliers, customers, clients, staff and contractors.

In addition to learning new knowledge and skills, Alison has enjoyed reflecting on and improving the skills she already has, like leadership and communication skills.

“I’ve enjoyed learning about myself and what I’m capable of achieving.”

Asked if she would recommend eCampus NZ to other learners, Alison enthuses: “Absolutely. Both facilitators I’ve had have been excellent. There’s been lots of help and support. I’ve been very impressed.”

Thank you for sharing your story, Alison! The eCampus NZ whānau can’t wait to see Bespoke By Nature NZ grow!

Important information for new learners

eCampus NZ as a business unit of Open Polytechnic, is now part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology.

From 1 January 2023, eCampus NZ will no longer enrol new learners into study plans delivered on the eCampus NZ learning platform.

However, all courses/programmes will still be available for online study through Open Polytechnic - Te Pūkenga.

The eCampus NZ team is here for you. If you are still experiencing ongoing issues related to Cyclone Gabrielle, please contact your advisor or facilitator so we can work with you to get you back on track.