When Catherine van der Meulen moved from Australia to the Awatere Valley, Marlborough earlier this year she was a woman with a mission. She began to connect to like-minded women across New Zealand who were all running successful businesses, managing multiple life roles, and doing something for the greater good.
Catherine was building key and inﬂuential relationships with organisations that had a strong relationship with New Zealand women including ASB, UN Women NZ, Helloworld, Jaguar, Rhind, Dilmah Tea, NZ Post and Crombie Lockwood.
Catherine began to cultivate and craft ideas on how to bring the entrepreneurial women she was meeting and the values-based organisations together in a meaningful way.
This process has culminated in a series of activations called ‘Entrepreneurial Women with Purpose’. The events will bring women, business women and entrepreneurs together to share their stories with strong calls to action. Those attending will be able to learn about and further enhance an entrepreneurial mindset and create meaningful partnerships for future innovative ventures.
In developing the Entrepreneurial Women with Purpose concept Catherine has interviewed a group of New Zealand women who self-identify as entrepreneurs to understand their motivations and personal narratives.
The women shared their definition of an entrepreneur as a leader and risk taker (calculated risk of course!). They identifed an entrepreneur as a person who is searching for the possible in the impossible, who has diverse interests and who uses innovation and creativity to enhance the world for the greater good.
“It takes a unique mindset to harness an entrepreneurial spirit but it’s not just for the select few,” says Catherine van der Meulen.
“We can help equip entrepreneurial women for success by giving women the tools to harness these abilities within themselves, by supporting them to challenge their self-limiting beliefs and and by encouraging them to be big and bold thinkers.
The Entrepreneurial Women with Purpose project will then take the process a step further with a vision to create a ‘Women’s Impact Investment Fund’ which would offer growth capital to businesses who deliver social and or environmental impact alongside financial returns.
The growth of impact investments globally reﬂects an increased desire for investors to make values based investment decisions.
Entrepreneurial Women with Purpose plans to invest up to $30,000 over the next 12 months in UN Women New Zealand projects which contribute to the economic empowerment of women in the Pacific as a direct embodiment of its commitment to delivering social impact.
To find out more and to see the upcoming events,
Entrepreneurial Women with Purpose is brought to life through the support of THiNK, De Luca & Co, Helloworld, Jaguar, Rhind and Dilmah Tea.