Ora Dreams grants inspire on solid business foundation

ora3Last night Ora awarded business grants worth $100,000 to five Kiwi companies at a glittering and well attended event at the Maritime Room on Quay Street in Auckland.

To date Ora has awarded an astounding $400,000 to 15 Kiwi businesses at its Ora Dreams project awards evening, which run every quarter. The next round of winners will be awarded their dreams grants on November 12.

Mi’nute of Cool , Victor Bridesmaids and QJB Roofing were  awarded grants worth $20,000, while Brand Value and Kingsland’s Grill & Shakes were awarded grants worth $15,000.

Rebecca Goddard, director of Mi’nute of Cool, an online store for funky children’s clothing from age two to 10 without the expensive price tags, was delighted with the award.

The whole family came to celebrate the awarding of a business grant to Grill & Shakes
The whole family came to celebrate the awarding of a business grant to Grill & Shakes

“Children need warm, quality and user friendly clothing as found in our unisex clothing except for dresses and skirts,” said Goddard.

“We are looking forward to the dreams grant speeding up our business growth and keeping customers and potential customers engaged, which is critical.”

According to Ora marketing manager, Justin Flitter, this is the fourth round of dreams grants Ora has run since launching in July 2014.

The grant project aims to fuel the growth of businesses through use of Ora’s cloud based app to monitor markets and competitors as well as report on marketing campaign performance.

“More than 850 Kiwis have shared their business dreams with us,” says Ora CEO, Christina Domecq.

“That’s quite an honour and a big responsibility for our team.

“The Ora Dreams project effectively inspires us every day so we’re proud to recognise our latest winners and look forward to helping them on their fast track to growth.”

ora1She pointed out that last time Ora awarded grants to three businesses passionate about disrupting their industry with character brands and smart digital marketing whereas this round the “five winners each identified key market opportunities to take advantage of”.

“We admired these five businesses’ preparation for growth and for getting into an optimal position to take advantage of new channels and opportunities.”

Nick Paul, Ora’s commercial director, emphasised that arriving at the finalists was “a very difficult decision for the judges”.

“Ora has enormous pride in its business creations,” he said. “And our dream is to create Ora as a household brand built on Ora’s marketing engine that combines state of the art data, research and expert know-how to help businesses attract and retain customers as well as Ora’s happy staff, happy customers, and happy profits.”

He pointed out that Ora has around 4000 customers for which it has generated 225,611 leads.

“And its always questing and tweeting to get better.”

SME advocate and investor, Sharon Hunter, made a presentation on drivers of Kiwi business growth to the 150 attendees at the event ranging from business owners to grant finalists and partners.

She urged business owners to create partnerships with the goal to grow together and to always pay attention to their intuition.

“Many people set out in business without the necessary skills or experience to drive growth,” she emphasised. “Good partnerships empower business owners to do what they do best and to focus on their dreams.”

Interested parties can get their businesses into the running simply by joining Ora and sharing their dreams at OraHQ.com.

Interested parties include people at the event like Sharon Erdrich, CEO of OmniBlend and health consultant at House of Health, who said it is “so easy to have my Google AdWords managed by Ora”.

“I’m using Ora to measure social interaction against competitors and to develop strategies going forward,” she pointed out.

“It’s great. I now have a video that promotes me. It presents me as an expert in my field. This has helped me a lot as a I am not adept at self-promotion but require it.”

These sentiments are echoed by Binu Paul from SavvyKiwi, which has been in the market for six months and which needs services from companies like Ora. “Social engagement – that is key,” he said. He explained that as SavvyKiwi is offering a wide range of services, it requires Ora to assist it to target its user personas.

Nerine Zoio: nerine@insideretail.co.nz

You have 7 articles remaining. Unlock 15 free articles a month, it’s free.