International business events bring people together to exchange knowledge and ideas, build business relationships and help attract investment and talent flows – and the Entrepreneurs' Organisation (EO) event held in Auckland recently shows just how much value these events can deliver.
EO is a global business network of more than 11,000 leading entrepreneurs in 153 chapters and 48 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO enables business owners to learn from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life.
Auckland hosted EO’s annual Ignite event in November 2015 – bringing together Entrepreneurs’ Organisation members from New Zealand, Australia, Asia, and beyond.
Speakers including Willie Apiata, Sir Michael Hill, Geoff Ross and Sir John Kirwan addressed the 170 delegates who attended, covering topics ranging from leadership and passion, to building businesses from the bottom of the world up.
The three-day event also provided a great opportunity to showcase Auckland and New Zealand’s unique heritage of entrepreneurialism, outside-the-box creative thinking, and number eight wire mentality to the delegates, left a lasting impression on some of the delegates:
Gilberto Crombe – EO Global Chairman (Mexico)
Based in Mexico, Gilberto is the Founder and Latin American Director of MultiLam, developers and distributors of decorative surfaces for homes, and has been part of EO for 16 years.
Gilberto says: “New Zealanders are fantastic innovators – I think that being somewhat isolated from the rest of the world means Kiwis are exposed to less ‘noise’ so they tend to get stuck in and do things their own way.”
“They’ve developed a fighting spirit. They’re always the protagonists in their own stories and I find that incredibly inspiring.”
“Auckland is a very organised city – I get a sense that the city (and its people) has learnt to develop rapidly, and has been through some significant changes, but haven’t lost its tranquility or love for life.”
Tamara Trentain – Communications Chair of EO Brisbane, Australia
Tamara an investor, and the creative director at Mitara, communications and marketing specialists to the resources & mining industry.
Of business opportunities in Auckland, Tamara says: “I see plenty of opportunity to invest in early-stage start-ups in Auckland. The Asian market in particular sees New Zealand and Australia as a premium quality space in which to do business.”
“Naturally Auckland is a big part of that, particularly when it comes to the export of quality goods and produce. I think both our governments have been very supportive of this by offering early stage venture capital.”
“Business people in Auckland aren’t afraid to give anything a go. On the world stage, their tenacity and authenticity is well received, as it’s so genuine.”
Fred Johnson – EO Global Board Liaison to the Asia Pacific (EO Utah)
Fred is the President of Eagle Environmental, abatement services for asbestos, lead paint and mold, which he has owned for 20 years. He’s also on EO’s global board.
“I think New Zealand’s new environmental regulations present a great opportunity for the sector. I’ve found New Zealand to be very encouraging and pro-business.”
“New Zealand business people are friendly, engaging and are always willing to talk and share about their work. I think there’s lots of room for growth; with the right positioning, New Zealand’s business world will boom. Growth of course can come with negatives, but I think that if done correctly, New Zealand will create an absolutely world-class business climate.”
“Your country is beautiful, but your greatest asset is your people, who are so friendly and open. I would definitely suggest investing here to my friends who are in business, and I’d suggest visiting to those who aren’t!”