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NZ visit for SE Asian sustainable businesses entrepreneurs

The Asia New Zealand Foundation and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade offers six to eight young Southeast Asian sustainability entrepreneurs and business leaders the chance to visit New Zealand.

Two people jumping in the air in a field

The week-long programme will give participants an understanding of how New Zealand is tackling issues around the environment and climate change and how New Zealand business is harnessing entrepreneurship and innovation for sustainable outcomes.

Applications close 3 September 2018.

About the trip

Dates: 15-22 October 2018

This opportunity is part of the ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative (YBLI), a key part of the New Zealand government’s ASEAN strategy. The initiative was to facilitate trade and build networks and connections between entrepreneurs and business leaders in Southeast Asia and in New Zealand. So far, 87 business leaders from across all ten ASEAN member countries representing a range of industries have visited New Zealand. In addition, 36 entrepreneurs from New Zealand have travelled to Southeast Asia.

Successful applicants will meet New Zealand sustainability entrepreneurs and business leaders, develop a greater knowledge of New Zealand’s renowned sustainability sector and explore ways to collaborate with entrepreneurs from New Zealand. Applicants will attend the Sustainability Hui, where they will connect with members of the Leadership Network and attend events being run by New Zealand’s leading social enterprise organisation, Akina (

During the trip you will:

  • learn about the New Zealand business environment, specifically with regard to sustainability
  • meet and network with entrepreneurs and business leaders in Auckland and Wellington
  • meet with government officials from New Zealand and ASEAN
  • connect with the Asia New Zealand Foundation’s Leadership Network, a network of New Zealand’s top young leaders.
  • take time to understand the culture of New Zealand
  • attend the Sustainability Hui with the Leadership Network and the Social Enterprise Hui with Akina.

The Foundation will work with the New Zealand diplomatic posts in ASEAN to deliver the programme.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be:

  • aged under 40
  • able to demonstrate leadership in their field and a working level of English language ability
  • an entrepreneur or business leader at CEO or senior management level from one of the ten ASEAN nations
  • work or lead a business involved in sustainability or with strong environmental principles.*

Outstanding start-up entrepreneurs or emerging entrepreneurs will also be considered. No knowledge or experience of New Zealand is required. 

Applicants must:

  • be based in and have citizenship of one of the ten ASEAN member countries
  • be interested in connecting with equivalents from other countries and exploring international business opportunities
  • be confident public speakers willing to engage in dialogue with entrepreneurs from other countries
  • be willing to contribute to the relationship between New Zealand and ASEAN.

How to apply

Applicants will need to fill in an application form including a 100 word biography that can be used for promotional purposes.

Please send your application to


The Asia New Zealand Foundation will fund the costs of successful applicants, including a return economy airfare, domestic transport, accommodation and insurance, as well as most meals and miscellaneous expenses.

Selection process

Applications will be assessed by the relevant New Zealand Embassy or High Commission. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed either in person or via Skype. In New Zealand a panel made up of Asia New Zealand Foundation, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the ASEAN New Zealand Business Council will consult with overseas posts to make a final decision.



* In this context, a sustainable company is defined as one that’s primary objective is creating or responding to environmental change. This might include, but is not limited to, companies working on: alternative energy sources; climate change affected crops; overfishing or issues around pollution; or a focus on recycling and sustainable packaging. It does not include charities, NGOs or organisations whose primary funding is from grants or other donor support.

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