I am currently into the forth week of my Certificate  in Small Business Management (CSBM) course offered by Te Wānanga o Aotearo (TWOA). This is a level 4 programme

The purpose of this course is to, “Provide business owners and potential business with the necessary skills and knowledge to set up and operate their own small business”.

The 36 weeks course is free, with all course material provided. There is one (3-hour) class per week plus 2 workshops per module.

I have already completed and handed in 3 assessments. It was little more work than I initially expected. However, I am really enjoying it. The class is small and relaxed. And those who attend actually want to be there, including our Kaiako (teacher/ guide). We have two Kaiako and both are experienced, knowledgeable and very supportive. They obviously do care about  Tauira (students) completing the course and achieving their aspirations. Which is very much appreciated, I tell ya. I remember being at University and feeling that most of the lecturers couldn’t give a fig about you. Some were as bored as the students who attended their classes. And you paid to be there.

The unique Maori cultural learning environment really suits my current way of life. Being a mum of a 23 months old toddler with another baby on the way, as well as doing a bit contracting work –  the delivery mode for this course fits in nicely with everything.

I must admit that I am little apprehensive about how I will cope, when baby number 2 arrives. But have been told by our Kaiako , that if I am committed, that they will be just as committed to help me complete this course. Even if it means, they have to visit me at home and go through the course material. How awesome is that?!

I have been a stay-at-home mum for 2 years now and really glad to be able to do something for me, in terms of self improvement. Plus, I do have a business idea buzzing around in my head at the moment. So this free Small Business Management course is a perfect starting place for me.

TWOA also offer other free courses. It is definitely worth checking out. Visit