New Zealand will become home to up to 400 visionary global entrepreneurs to grow ventures that tackle the world’s problems from Kiwi shores, following a new initiative launched this week.
The Edmund Hillary Fellowship in partnership with Immigration New Zealand is a programme designed to attract up to 100 global entrepreneurs, investors and start-up teams every year to incubate and grow global impact ventures from New Zealand.
Terms of the programme will see participants joined by up to 20 Kiwis every year who will benefit from the global network and support.
“New Zealand has what it takes to be a global innovation hub attracting the world’s best and brightest minds with our progressive policies, ease of doing business, educated population, low corruption and good relations with other countries,” Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) CEO, Yoseph Ayele, said.
“With the global race for talent on as countries compete for the best, EHF harnesses New Zealand’s natural and social advantages to offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a global impact leader, building and growing an ecosystem of bold visionaries innovating to tackle global challenges from New Zealand.”
A key enabler of the programme is the Global Impact Visas (GIVs), a new visa category which Immigration New Zealand will issue to Fellows nominated by EHF for the three year programme.
Ayele said GIVs provides EHF fellows with a three-year open work visa to live and work in New Zealand to build global businesses, and offers eligibility for residence after 30 months in the programme.
“GIVs is unprecedented as the world’s first impact-oriented visa,” Ayele added.
“It embraces the brightest and best active global entrepreneurial talent who may not be able to qualify for other visa categories but have the drive, capability and connections create great value for New Zealand.”
EHF is a collaboration between the not-for-profit Hillary Institute for International Leadership and Kiwi Connect, an organisation promoting and connecting high-impact entrepreneurship in New Zealand.
Ayele said it offers a three-year Fellowship programme providing individualised on-the-ground support and access to New Zealand’s thriving innovation networks and resources to incubate and grow innovative ventures.
“We are looking for the best and brightest minds from all over the globe at all stages of their ventures, who are driven to make positive global impact from New Zealand,” Ayele added.
“We are inspired by Sir Edmund Hillary, New Zealand’s most recognisable global citizen who showed us what is possible with daring and focus as the first person to climb Mount Everest, then dedicating much of his life to humanitarian work improving the lives of Sherpa communities in the Himalayas.
“Our Fellows will be great ambassadors to Sir Edmund’s legacy embodying his values of boldness, interconnectedness, excellence, authenticity, humility and stewardship to achieve their missions.”
Ayele said fellows can be based anywhere in New Zealand, with online applications open all year from 31 January 2017.
The EHF selects the first cohort of Fellows by the second half of 2017, with a new cohort every six months, each one having a maximum of 60 Fellows: 50 Fellows from different parts of the world, and 10 Fellows from New Zealand.