Sir Richard Branson has issued a challenge to New Zealand businesses: Prove you have the mettle to go global – and win a six-figure boost for your company.
In conjunction with BNZ, Virgin and Air New Zealand have put together a prize package worth more than $100,000 for one company with the "right stuff" – including time with Branson himself, a $100,000 cash prize, a BNZ business education scholarship, mentoring from Virgin and BNZ execs, and access to Virgin meeting rooms worldwide.
Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia will also give the winning business a travel package and flights to London, New York and Geneva.
To be considered, entrepreneurs must demonstrate "creativity and innovation with the potential to go global", aspiring to reach $50 million turnover within five years.
Also required is living up to the Virgin values of being "customercentric, challenging the status quo, being ethically driven and having a sense of fun".
"We're always looking for the next big thing and Virgin is looking to New Zealand as a great source of talent and ideas," Branson said.
"We know that there are many New Zealand businesses with the potential for success as the highest level."
BNZ chief executive Andrew Thorburn said New Zealand was "brimming" with entrepreneurial talent.
"What we need are the networks for offshore expansion – this is what this challenge is all about."
See bnz.co.nz/virginchallenge for more details.