Boost for SMBs as Govt recruits start-up experts

Minister for Small Business Steven Joyce has announced two appointments to the Small Business Development Group.

Frances Valintine and Sharon Henderson will replace departing members Matthew Jones and Rhonda Kite.

“Ms Valintine and Ms Henderson are both outstanding business leaders who have many years’ experience in starting and growing small businesses,” he says.

Valintine is the founder of The Mind Lab (now The Mind Lab by Unitec), providing expertise in 21st-century education technologies and collaborative teaching practices for students and practising teachers.

Over the past 20 years, she has worked extensively in the creative and technology sectors, including as the Chief Executive of the Media Design School. Ms Valintine chairs The Mind Lab by Unitec and is a board member of Education New Zealand.

“Ms Valintine brings to the group her extensive knowledge of the creative and technology sectors and a long history working in small start-ups through to large multi-nationals,” Joyce adds.

Henderson on the other hand is the founder and director of Federation Ltd, an independent full service communications agency which has seen rapid growth over the past six years.

She has more than 20 years of business experience, including 12 years in executive management roles in New Zealand and Australia. She is a senior contributor to the marketing industry, including as inaugural board chair of the New Zealand Marketing Association.

“Ms Henderson offers strong marketing and communications experience and has successfully led and run profitable small, medium and large companies,” Joyce adds. “Their mix of skills and experience will complement the group.

“I thank Mr Jones and Ms Kite for their contributions to the group, which has significantly benefited from their advice.”

The Small Business Development Group, made up of small business owners from around New Zealand, advises the government on issues affecting the growth and development of small businesses.

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