New Zealand Certificate in Business (Small Business) (Level 4)

New Zealand Certificate in Business (Small Business) (Level 4)

New Zealand Certificate in Business (Small Business) (Level 4)

New Zealand Certificate in Business (Small Business)

Develop the skills and knowledge needed to start, operate, grow and sustain a successful small business with the New Zealand Certificate in Business (Small Business) Level 4. Make your business dream a reality and learn how to apply business skills and knowledge to a small business.

Key Details
SIT2LRN Distance Learning

17 weeks full-time

Up to two years part-time

Study Modes:
Distance Learning

2024 Intake 4: 05 August to 29 November - Applications Close 23 July 2024

2025 Intake 1: 10 February to 06 June - Applications Close 27 January 2025

2025 Intake 2: 17 March to 11 July - Applications Close 03 March 2025

2025 Intake 3: 16 June to 10 October - Applications Close 02 June 2025

2025 Intake 4: 04 August to 28 November - Applications Close 21 July 2025


SIT Zero Fees Scheme

  • Tuition Fee: $0   Check eligibility
  • Direct material Cost: $7.00 per credit (incl GST)

(e.g. $700 for 100 credit course)


International Fees



Unsure which one is for me? Check Fees Eligibility Check my options



Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

  1. Develop a business plan for a small business, which is suitable for external stakeholders, and which addresses management of finances, HR, marketing, technology; relationships with stakeholders, sources of information and support.
  2. Operate and manage a small business to improve business performance and meet stakeholder requirements.
  3. Behave professionally and ethically and in a socially and culturally responsible manner and apply personal and interpersonal skills to manage a small business.

BSNS4701: Business Planning

The aim of this course is to develop the knowledge, skills, and attributes to develop a business owner skill set and plan for the functions of a small business.

BSNS4702: Business Relationships & Technology

The aim of this course is to develop the knowledge, skills, and attributes to engage, and maintain positive relationships, with stakeholders and to select appropriate small business technologies.

BSNS4703: Business Marketing & Human Resources

The aim of this course is to develop the knowledge, skills, and attributes to effectively manage marketing, human resources, and the legal environment in which a small business operates.

BSNS4704: Business Finance & Improvement

The aim of this course is to develop the knowledge, skills, and attributes to manage the finances and improve the performance of a small business.



SIT version
(Old programme)

Unified Te Pūkenga version
(New Programme)


Old codeOld nameCreditsNew CodeNew Paper nameCredits
SBM404The Business Plan15



Business Planning15
SBM403Growing a Small Business Operation15



Business Relationships & Technology15
SBM401Manage Operations for a Small Business15



Business Marketing & Humans Resources


SBM402Manage Finances for a Small Business15



Business Finance & Improvement



This qualification is to provide Aotearoa New Zealand with people who have the knowledge and skills to establish, operate, grow, and sustain a small business. Graduates of this qualification will be able to apply business skills and knowledge to a small business, in accordance with nga kaupapa o te Tiriti o Waitangi (the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi), and in a multi-cultural environment.

General admission

To be admitted to this programme applicants must hold one of the following:

40 credits at NCEA Level 1, including 10 Literacy credits and 10 Numeracy credits; or a recognised equivalent; or a relevant qualification at NZQF Level 2 or above.

Special admission

Any ākonga who is 20 years of age or older and has not reached the general admission requirements for their intended programme is eligible for Special Admission. Te Pūkenga works with the ākonga to ensure they are prepared for their intended programme. 

Discretionary admission

Any ākonga who is not yet 20 years of age and has not reached the general admission requirements for their intended programme may be eligible for Discretionary Admission. In assessing whether to grant Discretionary Admission, the delegated authority focuses on the applicant’s level of preparedness for their intended programme.

English language requirements

All applicants (international and domestic) for whom English or te reo Māori is not a first language need to provide evidence that they have the necessary English language proficiency required for the programme. 

International applicants are required to have an IELTS score of 5.5 (general or academic) with no individual band lower than 5 from one test taken in the preceding two years or an equivalent described in NZQA Rules.

Suggested study path / combinations

Part time study

The number of credits selected per intake should depend on work, family, and other commitments. 

Students must complete the papers in the order they are listed on the website. 

It is recommended all students complete no more than two papers per alternate intake. Full time study is not recommended.

Full time study

Full time study is completing all papers (60 credits) in one intake. Full time acceptance into the programme is at the Programme Manager's discretion. As there are weekly assignments for many of the papers within this programme, part time study is recommended, even for students working less than 20 hours per week.

Additional information

  • As a guideline, one credit equates to approximately 10 hours study within an intake period.  Click HERE to download a Study Load Calculator (spreadsheet)
  • All papers selected within a particular intake must be completed within that intake unless a transfer is requested (conditions apply; see FAQs)
  • Online enrolments are on a year by year basis and students are welcome to apply for multiple intakes in one enrolment.  Further enrolment is the responsibility of individual students.  There is no automatic enrolment rollover

All SIT2LRN courses require you to have computer and internet access.  Students are required to use their SIT webmail only for all SIT2LRN communications. All course materials and information, including assessments and due dates, are located on the online Blackboard system. Once you have been accepted into a programme you will receive an Important Information Booklet which includes information that you can use to familiarise yourself with our online Blackboard learning environment. From the intake start date you will have access to the online course materials to work through.

Facilitator Assistance:  During the enrolled intake period, students have email access to Facilitators, who endeavour to respond to emails within 48 hours (week days only).  All students are required, within the first two weeks of an intake, to send an email to their Facilitator confirming their start on the programme of study.  Students who have not emailed their facilitator or embarked upon their course of study by the end of the 2nd week of an intake, will be Faculty Withdrawn from the programme.  Such withdrawals may impact on future access to SIT Zero Fees Scheme and Student Direct Material Costs are still liable for payment.

We recommend students new to SIT2LRN read through the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website for further study and enrolment information.

Please use the following checklist to ensure that all relevant information and documentation has been included. Remember, your application will be assessed based on the information that you provide us with. Processing of your application will be delayed if we need to come back to you for missing information. 

  • I have read all sections of the Programme Information on this page
  • I have read the SIT2LRN Frequently Asked Questions section
  • I have met all admission criteria for the programme (found under Application Criteria)
  • I have met all the criteria for individual papers (found under Course Content)
  • I have selected the paper(s) I wish to study
  • I have selected intake(s).  (I have selected alternate intakes rather than overlapping intakes)
  • I know my intended payment method
  • If my organisation/company is paying for my studies, I have a completed an approved purchase order to attach to my online application.  I am aware that should my organisation or company not pay my fees, these will become my responsibility
  • I have completed and attached a cross credit form (if applying for a cross credit)
  • New students - I have provided an active NSN in the name I am enrolling in, or I have verified ID and will attach it to my online application
  • New students - I will attach academic documentation (NZQA record of achievement/academic transcripts/certificates).  These do not need to be verified. (If you do not have any academic documentation to support your application, please attach a comprehensive CV outlining your education and work experience)
  • I confirm that I have a small business idea on which to base my study
  • I have computer access, an Internet connection and access to software to create electronic documents e.g. Microsoft Word or Open Office

What is the Zero Fees Scheme?

The Zero Fees Scheme means we do not charge tuition fees, however there is a Student Direct Material Cost that you need to pay. The administration fee is for processing your application and the Student Direct Material Cost gives you secure access to Blackboard® our online learning environment and to student support services throughout your study with us.

Who qualifies for the Zero Fees Scheme?

  • A New Zealand citizen completing the full qualification or
  • An Australian citizen/New Zealand Resident or Permanent Resident who will be residing in New Zealand for the duration of their enrolment

Instructions to help you with your application:

  1. Read the Programme Information on this page and the SIT2LRN Frequently Asked Questions and find out if you meet the application criteria for both the programme and the unit/s you wish to study.
  2. Check your eligibility for Zero Fees. If you are not eligible to study under this scheme, please call 0800 748 257 for further options.
  3. Complete your online enrolment checking that:

If you are a new student...

  • Provide an active NSN number in the name you are enrolling in (contact NZQA on 0800 697 296 to get your NSN number if you do not know it);
  • If you do not have an active NSN, then attach a copy of your verified ID in the name you are enrolling in - a copy of either your birth certificate AND (marriage certificate if applicable) or passport which has been stamped and signed by any one of the following: JP, Barrister, Court Deputy Registrar, Member of Parliament, Land Transport NZ, Public Trust, member of the New Zealand Police, School Principal, Minister of Religion or GP.
  • If you are a Resident or Permanent resident of NZ, please provide a copy of proof of residency;
  • Attach all academic documentation to support your application including copies of any certificates of courses you have undertaken / NZQA record of achievement / transcripts / CV;

Attach supporting documents as required and outlined on the previous page.

  1. Please check that you have included all the required information and supporting documents.  Your application will be assessed based on the information that you provide.  Missing information will delay the processing of your application. 
  2. Please scan and email all additional documentation to

What happens next?

  • You will receive an automatic email confirmation when we receive your online application. Processing may take up to three weeks, however we will get in touch with you sooner if we require further documentation
  • Once your application has been accepted you will be sent a conditional offer of acceptance with an invoice and instructions on how to make payment
  • Once we have received your payment (or if you have opted to pay by Credit Card, Student Loan or Purchase Order), you will be sent an Enrolment Confirmation Letter and Important Information Booklet. Closer to the start of the intake you will receive a Time To Get Started Letter which will give you all the necessary information, tools and guidance to start your study with us

To satisfactorily complete the New Zealand Certificate in Business (Small Business) (Level 4) and be awarded this qualification, the student must successfully achieve:

  • A minimum of 60 credits in accordance with the programme schedule for the New Zealand Certificate in Business (Small Business) (Level 4)
  • The student will normally be expected to complete the New Zealand Certificate in Business (Small Business) (Level 4) over one year or part-time over four years

This qualification may build on from:

This qualification may complement these qualifications:

Graduates of this qualification may progress to:


Assessments for this programme typically include essays, analytical business reports, question and answer assessments and practical assessments. There are no exams for this programme.

For more information on required and recommended textbooks for this course please refer to the textbook list here

Please note that textbooks need to be ordered at least 3-4 weeks prior to the commencement of your study

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