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Coffee and jam
Helen Guang of Asia Trade Link presents at Coffee and Jam while Ministry of Awesome trustee, Geoff Brash, looks on.

Cappuccinos have had their day, one barista tells me. Others say the flat white is the quintessential Kiwi drop.

But, these days, in Christchurch, coffee comes served with jam and a few inspirational stories thrown in.

For the last 18 months, the Ministry of Awesome has hosted the Coffee and Jam ideas session on a Tuesday lunchtime.

The event is held at held at the Enterprise Precinct and Innovation Campus, already a hub for business and social entrepreneurs.

Each session has two speakers, the first; a business person pitching a new start-up idea or project, while the second speaker aims to be more educational or thought-provoking.

A Ministry trustee, Geoff Brash, says the session is designed so each speaker, however inspirational, appears to be someone the audience can relate to.

"We call it social proof and, the idea being, that if you're always looking at someone who's an All Black, saying "He's an All Black, I could never be that", its inspiring but it limits you."

He says the Ministry wants spectators to feel they, too, could be empowered to present a session on their idea.

"That's a really important part of it because otherwise we have inspiration but we don't have that next step of action and we're trying to do inspiration and action."

Helen Guang came to pitch her new business consultancy, Asia Trade Link, and says she was given help to practice her presentation beforehand.

As a result, she says she enjoyed a friendly and supportive reception and she believes the Ministry of Awesome is taking a responsible approach to helping new businesses.

Other attendees say the Coffee and Jam sessions are a valuable part of Christchurch's entrepreneurial scene and  a good place to catch up with the city's "thinkers and doers".

Coffee and Jam is held at EPIC, BNZ Lounge, corner of Manchester and Tuam Streets on Tuesdays 12.30-1.30pm.