Small Business Essentials – Free Online Studies

(NZ Certificate in Business (Level 3, Introduction to Small Business)

Attention all small business owners, this FREE course is for you!

Learn about opportunities, operations and feasibility, and gain a nationally recognized business qualification.

Boost your confidence and build your expertise in personal, workplace and enterprise management – and apply this practical experience in simulated and real business settings. No prior workplace experience needed. So why wait? Gain the building blocks for small business success today.

These studies are delivered entire online, complete your qual from any location at any time that suits your lifestyle.

The Essentials

Upcoming Intakes:

17 April 2023

22 May 2023 (PT only)


No fees for NZ Citizens and

Permanent Residents

No hidden costs


Level 3 Studies

Worth a total of 60 NZQA Credits


20 Weeks Full-Time

(35-40 hours weekly) or

40 Weeks Part-Time

(15-20 hours weekly)

Programme Content

This NZQA recognised programme consists of 4 courses which are each worth 15 credits. Below is a list of all modules covered:


  • Business Values and Ethics

  • Business Structures
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Target Market


  • Evaluating Technology Options
  • Problem Solving and Decision Making
  • Legal, Regulatory and External Agencies
  • Communicate Effectively with Stakeholders


  • Business Finance & External Stakeholders
  • Business Finance & Internal Stakeholders
  • Business Finance – Owner Perspective
  • Business Planning


  • Small Business Establishment
  • Marketing & Competitor Analysis
  • Financial Viability & Assets
  • Executive Summary

Course Details

Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

Technical knowledge and skills

  • Identify relevant business opportunities.
  • Assess the feasibility and viability of a small business.
  • Produce an establishment plan for a small business.
  • Evaluate technology options to effectively operate a small business

People skills

  • Communicate effectively with stakeholders.
  • Understand the importance of business relationships with stakeholders for a successful business.
  • Apply interpersonal skills to contribute to the business’s effectiveness.

Cognitive skills

  • Apply effective problem-solving and decision-making for small business purposes.

Affective skills

  • Demonstrate professional and ethical behaviour, in a socially and culturally appropriate manner.-Manage self effectively to contribute to performance of a small business.

Business environment

  • Identify legislation and other external requirements for a small business

Education Pathway

  • Graduates of this qualification may progress to:
    • New Zealand Certificate in Business (Small Business) (Level 4) [Ref: 2457]
    • New Zealand Certificate in Business (First Line Management) (Level 4) [Ref: 2456]
    • New Zealand Certificate in Business (Accounting Support Services) (Level 4) [Ref: 2455]
    • New Zealand Certificate in Business (Administration and Technology) (Level 4) [Ref: 2461].

Employment Pathway

Graduates  of  this  qualification  will  have  the  skills  and  knowledge  that  can  be  applied  to identifying business opportunities and planning for a small business

  • Students must be over 16 years of age
  • Students will be required to have NCEA Level 2 or the equivalent
  • Students must be residing in New Zealand for the duration of their studies
  • This programme is only available to New Zealand and Australian Citizens and New Zealand Permanent Residents.

All of the necessary materials required to successfully complete assessments will be available through the learning platform.  For some assessments, you may like to do additional research through textbooks or the internet, however you won’t be required to purchase textbooks. You must have access to a computer, a reliable internet connection, and email (preferably with Microsoft Office or compatible programme).

Where transfer of credit for previous study is being applied for, the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Form must be submitted at least four weeks prior to the Intake start date.

See the Recognition of Prior Learning section for full RPL criteria and details on how to undertake an application.

Have a question? Call us on 0508 626 243

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