EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ New Zealand 

How will your imagination leave a lasting impression?


Nomination Process

There are five EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award categories that have been established to recognise New Zealand’s best entrepreneurs.

Products - Nominees in this category are retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers of products from all industries.

Services - These entrepreneurs are providers of professional services e.g. financial, engineering, architecture, real estate, property, recreation and leisure.

Technology & Emerging Industries - Nominees who run businesses within software, hardware, telecommunications, digital media, biotechnology or health sciences industries.

Young - Entrepreneurs 35 years or younger (Thursday 29 June) across all industries are eligible for this category.

Master Entrepreneur - A category designed for leaders of well-established businesses that have made a significant commitment to entrepreneurship.

Criteria for eligibility

  • To be eligible for the programme, you must:
  • Be a company founder, owner or manager of a private or public company or organisation who is primarily responsible for the recent performance of the company or organisation, and an active member of senior management
  • Be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a significant equity stake in the business
  • Have a company that has been in existence for at least two years at close of applications, Thursday 29 June 2023.

Judging Critera

The independent judging panel considers each entrepreneur finalist against the following criteria, developed and used globally in country Entrepreneur Of The Year programmes as well as EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year. The six criteria are a balanced scorecard.

  • Judging Criteria

    • Positively impacts the customers they serve.
    • Integrates sustainable Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices in their strategy with robust commitments and execution plans.
    • Focuses on diversity and inclusion across multiple dimensions.
    Entrepreneurial spirit 



    • Identifies opportunities to innovate and create a better world.
    • Takes risks to realize their vision.
    • Demonstrates courage, perseverance and resilience to overcome significant obstacles.


    • Commits themselves and their organization to an inspiring purpose and vision.
    • Drives strategies for a sustainable future business.
    • Creates and protects value in the long-term, across a broad group of stakeholders and ecosystems (e.g. consumers, employees, suppliers, government, communities, investors and shareholders).


    • Increases market share and expands into new markets.
    • Drives positive financial performance.
    • Invests in attracting, developing and retaining a diverse mix of talent.
    • Builds a culture of innovation that pioneers new approaches or technologies.

Meet the NZ Entrepreneur Of The Year 2023 Judges

Brianne West, CEO and Founder, Ethique

Brianne is a New Zealand entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Ethique – a regenerative beauty brand now sold in over 22 countries, in more than 8000 stores.

She was named a ‘Top 100 Global Thinker’ by Foreign Policy magazine in 2016, the 2019 NZ EY 'Young Entrepreneur of the Year' and One Young World's Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020.

Brianne is passionate about protecting and restoring our environment and I believe that business should benefit everyone involved, from suppliers, to the team - not just shareholders.

Brianne is also the co-founder and co-managing partner of Nous, an impact investment fund launched in 2021.

Cecilia Robinson, Co-Founder and Co-CEO Tend, Co-Founder, My Food Bag
Chair of Judges 2023

Cecilia Robinson is the Founder and Co-CEO of Tend. Cecilia founded her first business Au Pair Link, aged 21, with husband James Robinson. In 2012, Cecilia Co-founded My Food bag and in 2013, Cecilia won the EY Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Today Cecilia’s primary focus is Tend which was founded in 2019, motivated by a vision that “our children and the children of New Zealand don’t deserve to inherit our healthcare system”. The Robinsons founded Tend Health to “make kiwis the healthiest people in the world”.

Tend is a full-service primary healthcare provider, offering GP services online and in clinic. Tend is reimagining healthcare as we know it, at Tend clinicians and world class engineers work side by side driving the best healthcare experiences and outcomes.

The founding team bring together formidable New Zealand leaders, including former PushPay Chief Product Officer, Josh Robb, and Harvard educated Dr Mataroria Lyndon as Clinical Director. Today Tend has tens of thousands of patients, three clinics across Auckland and employs over 100 people.

She is also the founder and former CEO of My Food Bag. In 2016, the founding team sold 70 percent of the company to Waterman Capital. In 2018 Cecilia and James retired as CEOs. Waterman Capital subsequently listed My Food Bag in 2021. Cecilia returned as a Director in August 2022.

Grant Straker, CEO and Co-Founder, Straker Translations

A mechanical engineer by trade and former elite paratrooper Grant is the co-founder(with his wife Merryn) and CEO of the Straker Group, a company that they built from startup to an IPO in 2018.

Of Maori decent from the Ngati Raukawa Iwi Grant grew up in New Zealand and moved to the UK as a teenager and joined the British Army in the mid 80’s. After leaving the Army in the 90’s he taught himself computer programming and founded Straker as a technology company, eventually using the technology they developed to become leading players in the 50 billion translation industry.

The Straker’s had a vision that they could build a global technology company from New Zealand, and over the past two decades have accomplished this with more than 240 staff, offices in 8 countries and still head quartered in New Zealand where the majority of their R&D takes place.

Grant has 3 teenage boys, still plays masters rugby, does competitive age grade crossfit competitions and enjoys sailing his catamaran at the weekends.

Jeremy Moon, Founder, Icebreaker
EY Young Entrepreneur of the Year New Zealand 2003

Jeremy Moon founded Icebreaker, a clothing brand, in 1995 to disrupt the outdoor industry with a sustainable, natural performance alternative to the synthetic apparel dominating the outdoor market. Icebreaker was recently sold to VF Corporation in a major transaction - the first “purpose led” acquisition by VF (owners of The North Face, Vans, Timberland). This transaction will unlock the potential of the brand globally, dramatically raise the impact of sustainable natural apparel across the VF suite of brands, and secure a long-term demand for New Zealand merino wool.

Icebreaker was the first in the world to create a merino active layering system and sparked a global revolution in the outdoor and sports industries. The brand boasts sales of around $300m, supplying to more than 4000 retail stores across 44 countries including 30+ own retail stores and e-commerce.

Moon is also Chairman of BetterByDesign; a non-profit group assisting 120 other New Zealand businesses increase export earnings through integrating design more successfully into their business, strategy, and products. He was also appointed member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business by the NZ Government in 2008.

Sam Hazledine, Founder and Managing Director, MedRecruit
EY Young Entrepreneur of the Year New Zealand 2012

Sam is the Founder and Managing Director of Australasia’s largest medical recruitment company, MedRecruit. He has also founded the wealth management company for doctors MedCapital, and the wellbeing organisation MedWorld, and he co-founded the holistic talent management company, WeAreTenzing. As a doctor, Sam has created multiple organisations, MedRecruit, MedCapital, and MedWorld, to assist doctors to live exceptional lives, because he knows that when they are fulfilled they are better doctors.

Sam is passionate about lifting people’s sights so they can see what’s possible, and sharing the lessons he has learned to get anyone into that sweet spot, where success becomes inevitable.

EY Contacts


Jason Macgregor
Program Director
Tel: +64 274 899 504
Rebecca Seymour-East
Program Manager
Tel: +27 687 8977