HATCH Q&A with Annabelle Ryan of Kokiti Ltd
Annabelle Ryan (pictured: right) of Kokiti Ltd says she and her business partners applied to join HATCH because it could take them to the next level and provide the essentials to run a sustainable, ethical company. Kokiti were the winner of the 2018 Panuku Development Pacific Impact Award at the 2018 National Pacific Business Trust Awards. Click here to learn more about their award.
Read more about Annabelle’s HATCH journey in her Q&A.
How long have you been in business?
How did you get into business / come up with your business idea?
Kokiti Ltd was founded when we were a part of the Young Enterprise Scheme. Each of us as founders were of Pacific Island descent and had faced similar issues growing up, whether it concerned our culture, family, duty or the realities of living between two worlds as second generation New Zealand Pacific Islanders. Kokiti was founded under the premise that we wanted to help the next generation face identity questions head-on and be proud of their heritage, no matter their race. Kokiti’s clear purpose is to help the next generation while sustaining the essential pieces of our cultures.
Why did you apply to take part in HATCH?
Hatch provided an opportunity to create a professional business of our own with the many resources, connections and support they provide running the program. We applied because we knew Hatch could take us to the next level and ensure we knew all the essentials to run a sustainable, ethical company.
Have you had an AH-HA moment during HATCH / what was it?
Many! I think being told that we can really do what we want with our company. There is no pressure to stick to traditional stereotypical ideas of how to operate a business, but rather incorporate our social purpose to create a business that is new, innovative and different.
What is your favourite HATCH masterclass?
Commercial Law with Arti Chand
Name three things you need to get you through the day:
1: Green Tea
2: My Family
3: To do list
What is the best piece of HATCH advice you have received so far?
To turn up and to always reply to queries straight away. It means more to people when you show interest and take time to ask about how their business/ life is going rather than just talking money. People value respect and good communication.
Why do you think other Pacific Youth should apply for the HATCH programme?
Pacific people are incredibly innovative. Their inspiration comes from strong roots, such as family, culture or the arts. Although there is still a lack of representation within the business world, I believe HATCH gives you the connections to take your idea to the next level, a place where you can really make wide changes within New Zealand and beyond.
What words of advice do you have for future HATCH participants?
Make connections. You’ll be provided with a lot of connections, some you’ll need, and some you will not. Remember to respect each connection provided and follow through on promises you make. When times get hard, lean back on Hatch. They know the realities of business and will give you the push to get back on your feet.
What has been your most memorable HATCH experience?
The catch ups with the other businesses in our cohort and the Hatch co-ordinators. They’ve been needed, especially when you’re low or need to let off steam.
How do you brainstorm?
I brainstorm best with Angel, my business partner. When we get together, we scribble all of our ideas on a large page and adjust them until we have ideas that we can push forward with.
Do you have any HATCH words of wisdom?
Turn up to class. Each class is different and will be relevant to your business in some way, even if it’s not essential knowledge for your present operations. The masterclass experts provide you with the connections to get to the next level.
What is something you have learned about your business since taking part in HATCH?
The realities of business, whether it be haggling, how to form relationships or simply how to start your business operations.
What is something that has changed for you on your HATCH journey?
The developing of our branding, products and services. Kokiti has developed a lot.
What is your goal at the end of your 3-year HATCH journey?
To have created a social enterprise that is commercially viable and makes effective changes within the communities that we operate. We aim, through our workshops and products, for children to get something long-lasting out of it, whether it be a growing interest in their culture or learn about the other Pacific cultures.
How has your business benefited from taking part in the HATCH programme?
Through the connections Hatch has provided, Kokiti has been able to enter the business world with useful connections. Hatch also provides us a safe haven, which we can go back to for further knowledge development and help.
What is your daily HATCH motivation?
To help children through the ‘identity crisis’ which I myself has gone through. As a youth-focused business, we understand what they are going through and being able to run workshops and provide a safe haven to ask questions about culture keeps me going.
Where do you work best when it comes to your business?
PBT offices. They have amazing equipment, a friendly team to guide you and, of course, there is food. It’s a no brainer.
Describe what HATCH means to you in 3 words.
Opportunities, Work and Family