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Virgin and Bank of New Zealand challenge Kiwi companies to go global


Friday 21st October 2011

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The Virgin Group and Bank of New Zealand today put out a challenge to New Zealand businesses to prove they have the "right stuff" to go global.

BNZ Presents: The Virgin Business Challenge will see clever Kiwi companies pitch to a top New Zealand business panel for a Virgin, BNZ and Air New Zealand prize package specially designed to connect them to the world.

Sir Richard Branson says, "We're always looking for the next big thing and Virgin is looking to New Zealand as a great source of talent and ideas. We know that there are many New Zealand businesses with the potential to succeed at the highest level and through the Virgin Business Challenge we hope to be able to play a role in helping them overcome the challenge of going global."

To be considered for this business lift off, Kiwi entrepreneurs must demonstrate creativity and innovation with the potential to go global, aspire to reach NZ$50m turnover within five years and live up to the Virgin values of being customer centric, challenging the status quo, being ethically driven and having a sense of fun.

BNZ CEO Andrew Thorburn says, "We know that New Zealand is brimming with entrepreneurial talent but what we need are the networks for offshore expansion - this is what this challenge is all about. Our innovative businesses must accelerate and really aspire to greater global success to achieve international standing and significantly increase their own success and therefore the prosperity of this country. Both Virgin and BNZ recognise this and together, we want to provide an opportunity for New Zealand businesses to realise their full potential."

BNZ Presents: The Virgin Business Challenge will challenge Kiwi entrepreneurs to demonstrate why their business deserves shot at world markets and pitch for a prize pack that includes: time with Sir Richard Branson; a $100,000 cash prize from BNZ to support the internationalisation of the business; a BNZ business education scholarship; mentoring from Virgin and BNZ executives; and access to Virgin meeting rooms worldwide.

Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia will also provide the winning business with a world of opportunity via an exciting travel package which includes a choice of domestic and trans-Tasman destinations, as well as flights to the global business capitals of London, New York and Geneva.

To enter, entrepreneurs should go to the BNZ website at

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