The Business Mentors New Zealand service says financial understanding, marketing and planning are the greatest challenges faced by Cook Islands businesses.
Business Mentors have held coaching sessions in the Cook Islands with up to 60 local companies seen to have potential to grow, such as those in manufacturing, tourism and accommodation.
Its Pacific Support Mentor, Stuart Rowe, says more than a dozen businesses were chosen for the scheme this year, adding to the 34 companies which joined last year.
He says some of the biggest obstacles they face are understanding costs, successful marketing and creating business plans.
"Many for example in the accommodation area haven't really worked out whether their nightly room rate actually covers all their costs and gives them some money for improvements, for upgrading, for future expansion, for marketing, those sorts of things."
Stuart Rowe says all businesses under the scheme will continue to receive advice for as long as they need.