From nurturing their family of five boys, to helping support and grow small to medium sized enterprises, the founders of WE Accounting & Business Services say it is a family business, with family at its core.
When Eli and Wyndi launched WE in 2011, their focus was on providing traditional accounting services. However, three years in, Eli and Wyndi decided they wanted to take their business to the next level and welcomed Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) to the WE whānau.
“Eli and I knew that if our business was to achieve its full potential, we would need guidance and support to help us see our business in a new way and take the next steps. That’s when we reached out to ATEED,” says Wyndi.
With the assistance of an ATEED business and innovation advisor, Eli and Wyndi accessed co-funding from the Regional Business Partner Network (RBPN) in the form of Capability Development Vouchers. These vouchers were used to pay for business coaching, something Wyndi says would not have been affordable without ATEED’s support.
On their journey with a business coach, Eli and Wyndi transitioned WE from a traditional accounting practice to also offer business advisory services. With further support and connections from ATEED, they developed a 12-month business accelerator programme, using their own business as a template.
Eli says the decision to move beyond compliance services into business advisory was to help foster business growth, and not just the growth of WE Accounting & Business Services.
The decision to pivot away from accounting towards business advisory means we’re now helping other small businesses grow sustainably, delivering positive outcomes for whānau, community and the economy.”
This commitment to nurturing a business whānau has seen Eli and Wyndi become members of the Whāriki Māori Business Network, an independent network of Māori entrepreneurs, professionals and business owners that ATEED helped develop and continues to support and facilitate.
“Because Eli is Samoan and I’m Māori, we value the whānau feeling and connecting with people that share similar values to us. Whāriki has been a great way to do this and it’s also enabled us to give back to the Māori community – we even met our latest staff member through Whāriki,” says Wyndi.
WE now employees 16 full-time staff, 11 in Auckland and five in WE’s first international branch, which opened in Samoa in early 2019, and Eli and Wyndi don’t plan to stop there as they are currently hiring for new staff in both offices.
WE Accounting & Business Services has partnered with ATEED as a supplier to the Regional Business Partner Network (RBPN), the very network that Eli and Wyndi benefited from when they first connected with ATEED.
“By offering our accelerator programme through the RBPN, our goal is to develop a whānau of thousands of collaborative businesses – buying, selling, trading and learning together – and to grow this whānau around the world.”