What we do

The Marlborough Business trust is an independent, non-profit organisation which provides business development services including...

  • business coaching
  • business mentoring
  • business training
  • business resources
  • business networking

Business Trust Marlborough is here to assist businesses of all types - startups as well as existing businesses.

We offer free, confidential advice and guidance on any aspect of your business, or your business idea. Our well-qualified Client Advisor will provide information and advice to help your business succeed.

So, whether you are wanting to start a business or to grow your business, remember that you do NOT have to go it alone. Support is available.

Located in the CBD at Level 2, 3 Main Street Blenheim (in with Lifetime - above Rebel Sports), this service is backed by a diverse range of experienced local business people, appointed as Trustees, who all want to see Marlborough businesses thrive.

Meet the team

Brian Dawson - Manager / Client Advisor

Manager and Client Advisor Brian Dawson welcomes the opportunity to meet with local business owners and anyone with a business idea they’d like to explore. 

Brian and his wife Tricia have owned and operated their own business for the past 14 years. Brian is also a former General Manager of the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce and a District Councillor.  

A very important part of the service Brian provides is matching businesses with local volunteer business mentors through Business Mentors NZ and supporting both mentors and clients through out these relationships. As a result he has seen first hand the benefits to both clients and the extended Marlborough community of a successful business mentor client relationship and is passionate about helping people and their businesses succeed. 

Liz Webb – Mentor Support

Liz has spent 20+ years in corporate roles focusing on Business Improvement, Strategic Planning and Operations in companies including AMP, AIA and Public Trust. 

She now utilises the skills learnt in these roles to support business in Marlborough through her Business Coaching and Consulting business and with Business Trust Marlborough.

Liz has been involved in some significant projects in the region, including as a member of the project management team for the Marlborough Economic Recovery Project for COVID (TEAM) and facilitating workshops for the council and other community organisations.

She is passionate about helping people make informed decisions and to continue to improve how we work.  She has joined the Trust team focusing on supporting our business mentors.

Liz is a member of Angel Investors Marlborough and the Institute of Directors.

Sue Avery - Chair

Sue holds a BCom from the University of Canterbury and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2005 working as a Senior Tax Consultant in Christchurch before moving to Marlborough. Having been a small business owner and the previous Manager of the Business Trust, she understands the many demands on those who own or manage a small business and the value in seeking an objective, outside perspective on business matters.     

Sue is currently actively involved in the not for profit sector and is passionate about taking a holistic approach to supporting  Marlborough businesses and the wider community through this engagement.

Beth Barnes - Deputy Chair

Beth owns her own business, Button Help, which focuses on digital marketing, training and assisting businesses to become the best and most efficient they can be. This includes management of Social Media accounts, one-on-one training on Social Media and Technology Tools, and resource creation (creating documentation) for business owners who would rather work in their business than on their business. With a varied background from large organisations to small, Beth brings common sense and a fresh viewpoint for the businesses she works, assisting them in getting systems and strategies in place to help them move forward.

As well as running her business Beth is active in the community, being on other Boards and Committees as well as Business Trust Marlborough. She is also one of our business mentors.

In her free time Beth loves to spend time with her husband and young daughter, enjoying the amazing food and wine from this region (both cooking and eating!), as well as being a keen scrapbooker, mixed media artist and sewer - she always has a project or two on the go and loves to share these passions with other people.

Graham Gosling - Trustee

Graham Gosling has very strong connections with local Marlborough businesses, having owned a variety of Marlborough businesses including a cherry orchard, service stations and a motel complex. He was instrumental in setting up and supporting the Picton Business Support Group which provides networking and information sharing opportunities and a voice for Picton Business. He is also a life member of the Marlborough Car Club. He spent 3 years on the national MTA Service Station Committee and over 4 years as Chairman of Endeavour Park Pavilion Society overseeing this project from set up to completion.

Graham’s first venture into business started while he was still at College when he grew garlic on his grandmother property for sale. During his career he has worked as a Purchasing and Sales Manager at Stresscrete, before getting back into being a business owner by purchasing Springlands Service Station. He later also owned and operated a service station in Picton and a cherry orchard. More recently he owned Harbour View Motel in Picton which he completely refurbished.

Graham believes that, in business, honesty and integrity are extremely important. He was motivated to become a Trustee for Business Trust Marlborough as he saw it as a way to assist new business owners, who may have a great idea, but not the necessary knowledge or experience to successfully implement it. He feels that access to the right information is paramount to the survival of these businesses and that Business Trust Marlborough is the key to providing this.

Mark Lucas - Trustee

Mark has managed a building supplies company in Picton, and volunteers for Land Search and Rescue and Surf Life Saving.  He was in the NZ Police for more than 20 years and was the local chair of the Police Association. He left the Police in 2015 to take up the position of Operations Manager at the Avantidrome in Cambridge. He has also had an extensive cycling career representing New Zealand internationally and coaching.

Aaron Marshall - Trustee

Aaron is currently self-employed as an aviation safety and risk management consultant, helping small aviation operators navigate the various Health and Safety and Civil Aviation rules.

Largely this involves developing and assisting with the implementation of systems that are simple enough for the small business owner to manage without placing a significant drain on their resources but are compliant with relevant legislation.

Aaron moved to Blenheim 10 years ago with his wife, and they now have one child, who is currently starting out on his own business journey. Through this, Aaron has developed a passion for enabling youth in business.

He is also involved in the Classic Fighters Airshow as a Trustee and is on the Board of Trustees for Riverlands School.


Our Vision

Business Trust Marlborough's core purpose is to empower small to medium Marlborough businesses to start up, grow and thrive. Our Trustees and delivery Team are passionate about both Marlborough and it's economic development.

This passion is reflected in the Trust's Strategic Plan.