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Showcasing tomorrow’s social entrepreneurs and community champions

They are the rule breakers of today and the heroes championing a better tomorrow. A total of 30 young social entrepreneurs will have their ideas in the spotlight as they tell their stories as part of the Live the Dream 10-week summer accelerator programme.

The presenters come from 17 diverse, and early-stage ventures being developed that seek to make a social or environmental difference. The young social entrepreneurs will make a dragon’s den-style pitch to entrepreneurs, investors, people in the social enterprise space, and those who can offer consultancy and pilot funding among others.

These projects range from better support and visibility for Kiwi musicians, to an education platform for paired learning between children in China and New Zealand; a social play platform empowering parents to tackle child obesity, to a one-for-one mascara product that restores the sight of someone in need with every purchase.

The 10-week Live the Dream programme supports participants to validate their ideas and potential for impact, as well as develop an enterprise model that has viability in today’s world.

US$1 trillion social investment prospect for world

Investment house JP Morgan estimates that global impact social investments could reach US$1 trillion (NZ$1.3 trillion) by 2020.

Nobel laureate Mohammad Yunus from Bangladesh founded Grameen Bank to provide small loans for poor households to buy material for making products to sell. Today Grameen is a model upon which many micro financing facilities are based upon.

A world without poverty -Mohammad Yunus’ world

In New Zealand, current social enterprises that are up and running include crowdfunding platform PledgeMe, Student Volunteer Army, and Live the Dream graduates, Rate My Flat and Social Lab.

Rate My Flat 

About Live the Dream

Guy Ryan, programme founder, and CEO of Inspiring Stories and finalist for the 2015 Young New Zealander of the Year Award,  created the Live the Dream project, drawing on his own experiences in social enterprises.

Ryan says: “We’re living in a world with increasingly complex and urgent problems that need solving – social, environmental and economic.”

The Live the Dream final showcase takes place in Auckland and Wellington 18-19 February respectively.

List of ventures


Bonnie Howland

This is a one-for-one programme where participants buy an organic and vegan mascara, and half of the proceeds from that purchase go towards restoring the sight of people in the Pacific Islands with preventable and treatable blindness.

PEGIT (Auckland)

Easter Greig & Kahu Goulton

Pegit is an online self-marketing platform; a social networking portal connecting work with workers and workers with work. A platform empowering self-sufficiency, people can showcase what skills/services and products they can offer as an alternative source of income.

MORE NZ MUSIC (Wellington)

Nick George

Curated New Zealand music playlists for retail spaces. Revenues go to NZ artists instead of being repatriated overseas. This venture will act as a performing rights agent – passing the royalties onto the artist and clipping the ticket for revenue per transaction. This venture supports local music and culture.

YOMO (Wellington)

Michael Smith, Alex Whitcombe

YOMO is a project focused on using media to create powerful pauses. Focused on stressed and busy young people who struggle to juggle all of the pressures of modern lifestyles, YOMO encourages them to take one minute out of their day to improve the rest of it. Using the approach of mindfulness, YOMO are developing podcasts and other resources to help with the stresses and distraction of modern life.

BEAST (Wellington)

Caroline Fitzgerald, Gemma Potaka, Tahlia Kingi

Beast is a project aimed at promoting flourishing mental health in young New Zealanders. The team is designing a program for high school rugby players that combines the mental skills training used in elite sport with proven positive psychology methods. These skills will boost them to the top of their game not only on the field, but also in life.

CoPlay (Auckland)

Vic Jack

CoPlay creates positive social and active interactions, engaging individuals and communities, while tackling the issue of sedentary lifestyles. A social play platform, it is an effective, fun and inclusive tool that enables parents, children and families to connect, play, be active, have fun and be collectively rewarded.

ABCD 1st (Auckland)

Cara Renna

ABCD 1st is making New Zealand a better place for young children struggling with typical milestone development. Through an intensive early intervention programme, ABCD 1st will provide essential skills building, better preparing these children for their school career.

FitFlock (Wellington)

Bart de Vries, Hannah Milward, and Chris Pettet

The FitFlock app and website help connect those who are looking for physical activities with the places where activities are happening.

FUTURE E (Auckland)

Melody Guo

Language is a great way for people to learn about another culture. To engage kids and keep them interested, Future E has come up with an e-learning tool to help kiwi kids connect with kids in China, creating a 1 on 1 learning experience. The idea behind Future E is about cultural learning and understanding.


Richie Lovelock

The Proton Collective enables busy people to connect with inspiring charities in a unique and creative way. Through a day-long event, teams compete for glory and a grand prize, learning about charities in the process. These charities get a service that money can’t buy and connections they would never usually make.


Nedra Fu

This is an interactive and accessible learning programme that is tailored to the needs of office workers, introducing them to some basic principles and practices of healthcare across a number of modalities from a Chinese holistic health perspective.

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