SSB - Smart Steps to Business

Programme Name: Smart Steps to Business

Programme Overview

The Smart Steps to Business Programme (SSB) is a practical Level 3 small business management programme which has a vision of ‘developing successful and responsible business owners’.

This programme is for people who would like to prepare for entering business and/or who would like to find out whether moving into business is suitable for them at this time. The SSB programme will allow tauira to determine whether their business idea is suitable and viable. Tauira will also learn about the processes and considerations involved in starting a new business and will develop a business establishment plan.


SSB Content and Key Facts

The SSB programme consists of the following four Kōnae Ako (modules):

Kōnae Ako (Modules)


Number of Assessments


Kōnae Ako 1

Hei Tīmatanga

(Getting Started)

3 weeks


This Kōnae Ako focuses on identifying business opportunities and evaluating their suitability for the tauira. It also involves writing a basic strategic overview for a business idea that can form the first component of a business establishment plan.


Kōnae Ako 2

Hei Mahi Whakaritenga

 (Getting Feasible)


5 weeks


This Kōnae Ako looks at analysing the feasibility of a business idea, given the external environment and existing competition. Tauira gain practice in evaluating alternative strategies for developing a business, taking into account the results of an external analysis and the social, environmental and cultural impacts of the business.

Kōnae Ako 3

He Huarahi ki te Pae Tawhiti

(Getting to the Market)

6 weeks


This Kōnae Ako provides an introduction to marketing. Tauira will be introduced to concepts such as target markets, point of difference, the marketing mix, and the development of business relationships. Options for testing the viability of a business on a small scale before fully launching the business will also be covered.

Kōnae Ako 4

He Takatūranga hei Whakarewa i te Pakihi

 (Getting Ready to Launch)

6 weeks


In this final Kōnae Ako, tauira learn about the legal and operational aspects of establishing a business. Tauira also learn how to gather information learned throughout the programme to create a cashflow forecast which helps assess the viability of a business. A key component of this Kōnae Ako involves working in groups to ‘pitch’ a business idea to potential internal and external stakeholders.


Entry Criteria

  • Tauira must be at least 16 years of age (unless an exemption from attending school has been granted) at the commencement of the programme. An exemption from attending school may be granted by a person designated under sections 21 or 26 of the Education Act 1989, by a school principal from a school in which the prospective tauira is registered, or by the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Education.
  • Tauira must be New Zealand citizens (or citizens of Australia, Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands) or permanent residents.
  • Tauira must not exceed Study Load requirements. Specifically, tauira can only enrol in one full time programme at a time. They can be enrolled in an additional part-time programme if the academic workload has been considered achievable and the TEC EFTS limit is not exceeded.
  • Tauira may only enrol in more than one programme concurrently if the dual programme options are approved by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.


Pre-Enrolment Guidelines

  • Either be a graduate of a Level 2 or Level 3 qualification (or equivalent) or demonstrate competence in a numeracy and literacy exercise that reflects the comprehension, writing and numerical abilities for the programme.
  • Be fully committed to completing the programme.
  • Attend either (or both) an Information Session or enrolment interview.



Tuition and Resource Costs

There are NO tuition fees for SSB. Participants will receive their own comprehensive set of SSB resources including detailed lesson plans and activity workbooks, and Kōnae Ako magazines. This programme is available at no cost to participants. 


SSB Delivery

Length:            20 weeks

Format:           Classroom-based. Each Kōnae Ako will be delivered by a kaiako (tutor); one class per week (3 hours) plus either one or two contact workshops per Kōnae Ako.

Location:         Nationwide

Start dates:      Semester A: Weeks beginning 25 February and 11 March 2019

                        Semester B: Weeks beginning 1 July and 15 July 2019

Intakes are subject to sufficient class numbers and are not always offered in all areas.



At the completion of the SSB programme tauira will graduate with the following qualification(s):

  • New Zealand Certificate in Business (Introduction to Small Business) (Level 3)
  • Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Smart Steps to Business


Potential Careers and Pathways

The main pathway for this qualification is self-employment. However, the skills and knowledge may also be applied to a range of employment pathways, particularly in the fields of financial services, business administration and management (e.g. Business Administrator) and self-employment.

Graduates of this qualification may progress to:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Business (Small Business) (Level 4)
  • New Zealand Certificate in Business (First Line Management) (Level 4)
  • New Zealand Certificate in Business (Accounting Support Services) (Level 4)
  • New Zealand Certificate in Business (Administration and Technology) (Level 4)

Where can I do this programme?

Semester A: TWoA Waitakere Campus, 207 Lincoln Road, Henderson, Auckland
Semester B: Te Whare Oranga o Parakai, Te Moau Ave, Parakai.

What further study opportunities are there?

From Smart Steps Steps to Business you could progress through to the Certificate in Money Management and/or the Certificate in Small Business Management & Project Management.
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