One of our key principles here at SubUrban is to bring community and business closer together by facilitating innovative local collaborations.

In plain english this means finding local business people that are passionate about building economically resilient communities and connecting them with projects to support – either financially or by offering their skills.

One of the things I always felt frustrated about when I was at school was the lack of real experiences to go along with the “book work” I did at school – real people doing real things, using the skills that I was learning –  not celebrities or people from other communities – but local people who I might meet on the street. This localness made things feel achievable – things that I could aspire to.

So last year I started working with Onslow College on a pilot collaboration – working with the Year 13 enterprise students at the initial stages of their work creating a business (under the Young Enterprise Scheme), helping them gain a bit of clarity on their idea and then finding them a person in the local business community through SubUrban’s network to meet with to pick their brains and ask questions. We also ran a session as part of the SubUrban Northern Suburbs Meetup whereby the students came and pitched their ideas.

This all worked rather well. So I thought maybe we can formalise this a bit and perhaps get a partnership together to support the connecting and facilitating work we had been doing?

Enter Gareth Foster from Private Box. Gareth is a talented local businessperson and really gets the importance of investing in community. Gareth had been helping out at SubUrban as “front of house” on Friday afternoons for a year or so as a volunteer and I knew he was mega passionate about enabling young people to gain independence by starting businesses.  I ran the idea past Gareth to provide financial support for the Onslow collaboration and being the generous person he is, he was super-keen and said yes!

So now we have rather a innovative little collaboration happening. The local high school (Onslow College) working with a local social enterprise (SubUrban) supported by a local business (Private Box) and accessing a really wide network of businesses that pitch in to offer advice or feedback to students.


Here’s what Onslow College Business Subject Leader Robbie Turrell has to say “SubUrban provide an excellent service for us in working together to deliver business courses to the students at Onslow College. This has helped us to create a course and subject area which is the fastest growing in the school and gives us the real world edge from within the classroom”.”It’s a fantastic service to have and to pull from their resources enables us to deliver Business Studies at the forefront of Commerce Education in New Zealand”

​Thanks Mr Turrell. It’s definitely a collaborative team effort.

Kathleen from SubUrban