New baking business a success in Timaru

News News & events

30 Jun 2020

Millie Rose is a successful businesswoman and cupcake extraordinaire, baking and decorating beautiful little cakes that are often sell out amongst Timaru locals.

Rose studied bakery at Aoraki Polytechnic (now Ara Institute of Canterbury Ltd) when she was 16.

“School wasn’t really for me, I struggled a bit so I thought the best thing for me to do was leave school to do something I’d love and gain my qualifications at the same time.”

In a post-COVID economy, the focus is firmly on education as a pathway to re-skilling while facing a potentially uncertain future. While the Government has put a certain emphasis on sectors such as engineering, trades and technology, Rose’s example demonstrates that a passion for a more artistic calling can lead to rewarding careers if it’s nurtured in the right way; one that includes help with the development of ‘soft’ or transferable skills, including team-work, proficiency with digital technology and project management.

Rose comments “Jill Millburn was my tutor and she was fantastic; I learnt so much and got the skills I needed so I could use them later in life. She’s actually still a good friend of mine now.”

Since finishing her qualification Rose did some travelling overseas including working in a patisserie in Scotland before returning home in February to Timaru to open her own shop.

Millie Rose is a gift shop, a fashion boutique and a cake shop, and I’m all about supporting small New Zealand companies and local businesses. The local support has just been incredible. I never expected my cupcakes to be so popular!”

She encourages others with a dream of building their own business to give it a go.

“You’ve just got to have the confidence to do it! Sometimes I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing but you just have to get on with it.”

Helping people learn the artisan and professional skills that they need to succeed within their chosen field is hugely important, but in today’s economy, gaining an understanding of how to run a business is just as vital for many learners. This is why many courses, including those at Ara, place a great deal of value upon encouraging and enabling entrepreneurship.

Nigel Young, Head of Enterprise and Digital Innovation from Ara, says “The ability to understand and apply business and management principles will be essential to the recovery of our economy. We need people to drive forward the future with the ability to not only work in new industries, but also to define them. Increasingly the ability to innovate and apply entrepreneurship skills will be in high demand, and it is great to see the support and incentives on offer to those who are looking to start-up their own business.”

Innovation hub Te Ohaka - a partnership between the Ministry of Awesome and Ara -  is soon to be offering free ‘Start-up Clinics’ in both Ashburton and Timaru, during which budding entrepreneurs can meet with business mentors and discuss their ideas.  Additionally, Ara’s own Bachelor in Applied Management gives learners the option to major in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a number of business programme students get the opportunity to gain work experience with actual startups in Te Ohaka.