MYOB celebrating the passion and purpose of NZ business women

10 Mar 2020

To mark International Women’s Day (Sunday 8 March) leading tech company MYOB is celebrating the passion and purpose New Zealand women are increasingly bringing to the local business sector.

New Zealand is currently ranked best in the world in terms of the ease of doing business and starting a business, according to the World Bank Doing Business report, and has one of the highest rates of women entrepreneurs in the world.

According to the most recent MYOB Business Monitor, 27% of female business operators say the main reason they started their business was because they were passionate about what they do – second only to needing flexibility (34%).

MYOB NZ Country Manager Ingrid Cronin-Knight says for many, that passion is driven, at least in part, by wanting to give something back to their community or contribute to a local or international cause.

“It’s becoming more and more common to see women start businesses in New Zealand which have a unique purpose, whether that is environmental, social or in response to a need they see in their community.”

“And along the way, many are helping or empowering other women to start a new enterprise or engage with the business sector – something we believe is contributing to improving representation for women across many sectors of business.”

Entrepreneurial Women with Purpose Director Catherine van der Meulen says, since arriving in New Zealand a year ago, she has made it her mission to connect with businesswomen and organisations that are doing something for the greater good of the world.

“What I discovered through these conversations was that so many of these businesses – although for profit – were engaging in activity that reflected the foundations of a not for profit model, where they were having a positive impact on their communities, society as a whole and the environment,” says Catherine van der Meulen.

“Having a business that has a purpose far greater than profit is not something new but so many businesses are adopting it as part of their strategy, knowing that to have a unique proposition that there needs to be a much more three-dimensional approach through education, empowerment and investment.”

For global tech and data entrepreneur Carmen Vicelich, founder of multi-million-dollar enterprises Data Insight and Valocity Global, having passion for what you do is a vital part of succeeding in business.

“To other women seeking to establish their own business, I would say follow your passion because no matter what you’re going to do, there’s going to be difficult times. You really have to be passionate and believe in yourself so that you’re ready to bulldoze through all those barriers that will be there,” says Carmen Vicelich.

“I think also it’s about surrounding yourself with other people who have done similar things or going through a similar journey. I’ve got a great network of female friends that lift each other up and support each other.”

“But I also think it’s about recognising that we are setting new paradigms. People often talk about balance. The new paradigm isn’t really a balance. It’s actually about how you merge those things – work, family, parenting, life – so you can be all you can be.”

The founder of Nisa, Elisha Watson, a Wellington-based underwear label that employs local women with refugee backgrounds, says a grant from Wellington City Council provided the platform for her growing local business.

“When I got the grant, I decided that was the external validation I needed to show there were other people that thought my concept was a good idea. So, I used the money from the Wellington City Council to set up the workshop and hire our first staff members and then I crowdfunded to get the ball rolling to release our first range,” says Elisha Watson.

“I think our mission has gotten a bit more diverse as we’ve evolved. We talk about our three pillars: we were really passionate about refugee resettlement and employment opportunities, we are also really passionate about doing right by the planet, meaning using organic fabric and eco-friendly materials, and thirdly we care deeply about women empowerment and women’s rights.”

“Our customers are conscious consumers, so where things are made, the environmental footprint behind them, and the story behind them are some of the main reasons they choose one brand over another. But ultimately, we believe the product has to stand on its own because if you’re not making good products – no matter what your story is – you’re not going to sell anything.”

Elisha says her own network of like-minded business owners in Wellington have been a vital part of her business development.

“From my voluntary advisory board of amazing businesswomen to my employees, I don’t have to look very far for inspiration – I just look to the women I work with every day.”

“Women offer something unique to our business environment: passion, purpose and diversity of thought and creativity,” says Ingrid Cronin-Knight.

“A vital way to encourage that is by finding more ways to give them the resources to pursue their aims and support them on their business journey, which is why MYOB has just established the Stand Tall, Leap High resource centre.”

The MYOB Stand Tall, Leap High resource centre is available at, offering everything from conversations between successful Kiwi female entrepreneurs and our World Champion Silver Ferns, through to a range of resources that can make a difference to your business now.




For more information please contact:

Janelle Ericksen, MYOB, PR Specialist

M:021 1050 490 / E:


Gerard Blank, The Agency Communications Limited, Director

P: 03 341 5841 / M: 0275 243 629 / E:


About MYOB

MYOB is a leading provider of cloud-based business management solutions. With an offering of over 50 solutions, MYOB makes life easier for approximately 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand. The MYOB software spans the full lifecycle of a business from sole traders to larger enterprises with over 1,000 employees. MYOB also provides ongoing support to a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. They are committed to ongoing innovation, particularly through the Connected Practice Strategy and through development of the MYOB Platform. For more information visit or follow @MYOB on Twitter.

About the MYOB Business Monitor

The MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of 1,000+ New Zealand small and medium business owners and managers, from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors. It has run since 2009, commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton. This most recent survey ran in February/March 2019. The Monitor researches business performance and attitudes in areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline, technology usage and the government. The weighting of respondents by both geographical location and sector is based on overall market proportions as established by Statistics New Zealand and is drawn from an independent survey group, which includes both MYOB clients and non-clients.