Views: 124 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2021-04-30 Origin: Site
New Zealand young entrepreneur established pet tracker company Won local Government Entrepreneurship Bonus
After a fruitless struggle to find full-time work, a budding entrepreneur has decided to create her own business helping people keep track of their pets.
Streetwise Pets New Zealand sells GPS tracking units that attach to cat or dog collars, and allow pet owners to find wayward animals and get a notification when they wander too far from home, through a smartphone app.
Founder Rebekah Sinclair, 25, started setting up the Levin-based company during the 2020 lockdown and made her first sale towards the end of last year.
Sinclair worked on a shoestring budget, advertising through flyers and visiting craft markets, until she recently won a $50,000 grant from ASB, which has allowed her to start building Streetwise Pets.
Sinclair said she was introduced to the pet trackers by friends while staying in South Africa and, when she had to return to New Zealand before the border closed, thought it was a great idea for a business.
“Pets are part of the family, so when a cat or dog wanders and never returns its incredibly upsetting.”
Sinclair knew starting her first business in the middle of the economic uncertainty spawned by Covid-19 wouldn’t be easy.
“But I was coming back to no work and I’d struggled to find full-time work even when there wasn’t a pandemic, so I thought I might as well try.”
Sinclair took a small loan from her parents to buy her initial stock of trackers, received $4000 from Work and Income New Zealand for start-up costs and went to work.
ASB announced its $200,000 Backing Business Grant in November and Sinclair decided to apply.
She was announced as one of four recipients to divvy up the pot in March.
Sinclair said the extra cash allowed her to pay her parents back, while buying more stock, as well as getting training with a business mentor, her website professionally redone, and real advertising – including signage for her car.
ASB spokesman Tim Deane said Sinclair was chosen for the grant because the bank was impressed by her determination to make her business work despite the economic uncertainty of the pandemic.
“With more and more owners treating their pets as part of the family, pet care is one of the fastest growing industries globally.”