As from Thursday 1st August some major changes will take place to the Poutama grant eligibility criteria.

Firstly the required turnover amount of $60,000 will double and go up to $120,000.  Analysis of the average turnover of applicants is that 70% have a turnover of $300,000 so we do not think that raising the turnover requirement to $120,000 is going to be too onerous.  We know from personal experience that if your turnover is less than $100,000 then your business will struggle to survive.

Secondly, we are reducing the total amount that you are eligible to apply for.  Currently people can apply to Poutama on a 50/50 basis for up to $10,000 per calendar year (from the date your application is approved to exactly 12 months later) with a total amount of $40,000 available e.g. you could apply to Poutama four times at $10,000 per time.

The change will be that you can still apply for up to $10,000 per calendar year but the total amount available reduces to $20,000 e.g. you could apply to Poutama two times at $10,000 per time.

These changes are due to the fact that Poutama is a self-funded organisation, it receives no other funding be it Government or otherwise.  Poutama is the only organisation that provides a form of micro-finance through its grants.  These grants can be applied to a wide range of activities be it the purchase of equipment, overseas travel, market research or as leverage to apply for a loan.  However in being the only organisation that provides these services to Māori business the demand is now such that our ability to keep providing this service is under pressure.  Changes have to happen.

Poutama will review the situation every 6 months where at such times things could loosen up.  We don’t anticipate any further tightening.  We appreciate that these changes may effect some businesses and we will continue to do our best through helping you access alternative options.