Regional Business Partner Network

Manawatū District Council works in close partnership with the Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) and their team of Business Growth Advisors to support the growth and development of businesses in the greater Manawatū-Whanganui region.

The Regional Business Partner Network (RBP) is a nation-wide business development and innovation service, which connects businesses with a Business Growth Advisor to support them on their growth journey. CEDA delivers the Regional Business Partners Programme on behalf of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Callaghan Innovation and Business Mentors New Zealand.

The ways in which CEDA may be able to help you, include:


If you’re at the beginning of your business journey or want to explore how you can turn an idea into a viable business, there are a wealth of resources that can help. These include CEDA’s Startup Guide, free monthly Startup Workshops and connection to a business mentor. Visit for more information about starting your business.


When you’re working in a business, it’s not always easy to identify the pressure points, know how to streamline or improve processes, or think about long-term strategic planning, among other challenges you may face in the day to day running of a business. That’s where a Business Growth Advisor can help.

When you first meet with an advisor, they’ll help to identify the challenges, needs and opportunities of your business. Then, they’ll point you in the right direction of what tools, connections, training or development will suit you best. This may be training for business planning, marketing, finance, human resources, business systems, staff management, export development and more. Visit for more information about growing your business.


In partnership with Callaghan Innovation, CEDA can provide innovation and research and development services, and in some cases grants, to suit each stage of growth.

You may be a startup or an established business, looking to take a product, process or service from development to commercialisation, or you may want to bring tertiary students on board to help with R&D activity. A range of student grants are designed to provide additional R&D support and resources to businesses, while providing students with real life experience in a commercial environment.

CEDA can also connect you with experts, researchers, students and graduates at Massey University, Plant & Food Research, AgResearch, FoodHQ, the Food Innovation Network, The Factory, potential investors, IP specialists and more. Visit for more information about innovation.