New Zealand Certificate in Business (Introduction to Small Business) (Level 3)



20 weeks full-time | 40 weeks part-time

Delivered through the eCampus. Online activities – readings, discussion forums, research tasks and fact-finding. Study is part-time, will be mainly self-directed and is flexible to suit your needs

  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Online (TANZ)
    2 January 2021

Delivered online through eCampus NZ

This fully online qualification will enable you to prepare for a small business (an entity that is either owner-operated or employs no more than 20 people). This includes being able to identify and assess the opportunities and requirements for small business.

Graduates of this qualification will have the skills and knowledge to start, operate and grow a small business in New Zealand. Alternatively, upon successful completion, you may wish to undertake further higher-level study. 

Please note: Learners under the age of 18 cannot apply for this programme.

What will I learn?

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.
Entry requirements
  • NCEA Level 1, OR
  • New Zealand Certificate in Retail (Level 2), OR
  • New Zealand Certificate in Foundation Studies (Level 1), OR
  • a qualification at Level 1 or above on the NZQF, with evidence of literacy and numeracy abilities equivalent to NCEA (Level 1), OR
  • evidence of relevant knowledge and experience, including literacy and numeracy
  • abilities equivalent to NCEA (Level 1). 
  • If English is not your first language, you must provide:

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes.

Recommended requirements

  • Computer literacy is highly recommended in order to be able to cope with the online components of the courses.
COVID-19 vaccination information

As this programme is delivered fully online, you do not need to provide us with a My Vaccine Pass.

  • You will need to provide us with a valid My Vaccine Pass if you want to visit an Otago Polytechnic site for any reason while you are studying with us (e.g. meetings, events, presentations) or attend graduation in person at the end of this programme.
  • You do not need to provide a valid My Vaccine Pass if you are attending on campus health services (e.g. student health, Kowhai Centre).
  • In exceptional circumstances, exemptions may be granted to this. You can find out more about this in our vaccination policy. If you think you have grounds to be exempt from our vaccination requirements, please email    

You can find more information about our vaccination requirements here. And, if you still have further questions, please visit our FAQs page which you can find here.

Your workload

This programme is made up of four courses with a total of 600 learning hours. This breaks down to approximately 30 hours per week if you're studying full-time and 15 hours per week if you're studying part-time. 

Depending on your previous academic online experience this may vary a little.  

Programme Structure 

Course name



Learning hours

Small Business Opportunities




Small Business Planning




Small Business and Stakeholders




Small Business Operations








Course descriptors
1. Small Business Opportunities

To identify and analyse opportunities for the creation of a small business.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Assess the suitability of their personal skill set to that of a chosen small business
  • Assess opportunities for a business idea, given the constraints, resources and viability of the proposition
  • Describe the external and internal environment for a proposed small business
2. Small Business Planning

To develop knowledge and skills for analysing the financial and people requirements for a new small business. 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Apply strategies to manage self in the operation of a proposed small business
  • Assess the financial viability of a proposed business idea and prepare financial plans for the establishment of a proposed small business
  • Research and determine the feasibility and viability of a proposed small business
3. Small Business and Stakeholders

To identify professional and ethical standards and stakeholder engagement processes and apply problem-solving skills in a small business context.

 Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate professional and ethical behaviour, in a socially and culturally appropriate manner
  • Utilise problem solving and decision making tools for the effective making of choices and resolution of problems.
  • Produce strategies to ensure effective relationships with all stakeholders
4. Small Business Operations

To develop the knowledge and skills for identifying the legal, regulatory and resource requirements for a small business.

 Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify and apply procedures for the control of resources required for effective operations of a proposed small business
  • Create a plan for the establishment of a small business
  • Describe legal requirements that ensures the proposed small business is compliant with national and local legislation.
Further study options
Career opportunities for graduates

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

Student loans and allowances  

Full-time domestic students of this programme are eligible for student loans and allowances (dependent on age and financial circumstances.) Please contact Studylink for additional information. Phone 0800 88 99 00 or visit:

Recognition of prior learning 

If you already have extensive knowledge and skills gained from practical experience in this area, enquire about our recognition of prior learning process at Capable NZ. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification in the course of your life.