A simple mission of feeding hungry kids has seen Eat My Lunch’s founder and CEO Lisa King crowned New Zealand’s Woman Entrepreneur of the Year.
The win will see Ms King represent New Zealand at the International Woman Entrepreneur of the Year competition later this year in France.
The award – hosted by The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa) and presented by innovation accelerator Mahuki and fintech company MYOB – celebrates female entrepreneurs who aspire to tackle major social, cultural and environmental issues within their communities.
Lisa King first had the idea for Eat My Lunch in 2014 when she decided to do something about reports of children going hungry at local schools.
Drawing on US-based TOMS Shoes’ buy-a-pair-give-a-pair social enterprise business model, King hit upon the idea of selling quality delivered lunches and using part of the revenue to provide a meal to hungry children.
“I couldn’t believe that kids were going hungry in my backyard. I wanted to do something about it and come up with a model that could be self-sustaining and scalable,” she says.
“Our goal for the next 3 years is to feed half of the 25,000 kids who go to school and don’t have lunch every day.”
Eat My Lunch has now delivered more than one million lunches to kids in need. The business has partnered with corporates like Foodstuffs, to enable greater reach, and is even looking at taking the model offshore.
MYOB country manager Ingrid Cronin-Knight says MYOB is thrilled to be teaming up with Mahuki for the first ever New Zealand chapter of the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award.
“MYOB is passionate about supporting New Zealand’s incredible female entrepreneurs. Lisa King is a worthy recipient of this award for how she’s taken a simple concept and turned it into a winning idea that does so much good in our community,” she says.
“We’re excited about working with Mahuki to showcase New Zealand’s leading female entrepreneurs like Lisa to the world.”
Ms King will go on to represent New Zealand at the International Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award ceremony as part of the Impact2 World Forum in Paris on 29 March. The annual event – created by global startup platform INCO – brings together over 1,000 decision-makers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors and media from more than 50 countries worldwide to discuss solutions to society's most pressing challenges.
“It’s incredible to have the chance to promote New Zealand’s business community on the world stage and to show how we are making an impact on a key social issue,” says Ms King.
Thank you NZ Business for bringing this to the World Stage.