Top Kiwi entrepreneurs to share success stories with Taranaki businesses

A group of leading Kiwi food and beverage entrepreneurs is descending to Taranaki on Thursday 19 July to connect with local businesses and showcase how they have successfully expanded into offshore markets, particularly the fast-growing countries of Southeast Asia.

A man standing on the jetty of a fish farm as dusk

The youthful entrepreneurs are members of the of the Asia New Zealand Foundation’s entrepreneurship programme — the ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative (YBLI). They are:

  • Michael Sly, co-founder of Wilding and Co.
  • Chloe Van Dyke, founder of CHIA and Awaka
  • Nick Carey, founder and general manager of Green Meadows Beef
  • Nick Hammond, co-founder and COO of Spring Sheep Milk Co.
  • Lucy Bennetto, founder of Bennetto Natural Foods
  • Richard King, founder and director of NZ Goodness Ltd
  • Florence Van Dyke, managing director at CHIA and Awaka
  • Rochelle Alagar, founder and managing director of Mushroom House
  • Roger Holmes, founder and director of Serious Popcorn
  • Morgan Maw, founder of Bonnie Goods
  • Tama Toki, founder and CEO of Aotea.

“We are proud to have worked with so many of New Zealand’s top food and beverage entrepreneurs and to have taken them to countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines," says Adam McConnochie, the Foundation’s leadership and entrepreneurship programme manager. 

"Spending time in New Plymouth will enable the group to support each other as entrepreneurs and to grow their confidence in Asia, but also allow them to share and learn from successfully companies in Taranaki, like Egmont Honey, Marcels and Juno Gin,” Adam says.

Three of the group will speak at the ‘Tasty Business Taranaki’ networking event happening at 5:30pm at the Strategy Collective in New Plymouth. The event is co-organised by the Foundation, Green Meadows Beef and Venture Taranaki.

CHIA and Awaka founder Chloe Van Dyke says learning about Asia as a past participant of the the YBLI programme has helped her navigate the sometimes tricky cross-cultural business environment.

“The Asia New Zealand Foundation has been instrumental in connecting entrepreneurs and helping [us] navigate Asian markets through better understanding of culture,” she says. 

The Asia New Zealand Foundation is the country’s preeminent non-profit, non-partisan organisation focussed on equipping New Zealanders to thrive in Asia. The ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative in managed by the Foundation on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It facilitates business and build connections and networks between entrepreneurs in New Zealand and Southeast Asia.


Media contact:

Janryll Fernandez
Senior Communications Adviser
64 27 517 3259

13 July 2018