Live the Dream is New Zealand’s programme to develop young social entrepreneurs and their ventures. The 9-week accelerator runs every summer in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Who is Live the Dream for?

Live the Dream attracts a diverse range of young people driven to solve the pressing problems our world faces – mostly 18–25 year olds, tertiary students and young professionals. Nearly 100 alumni have graduated from the programme so far – some are still cranking their ventures, some have started new ones, and others have found their dream jobs.

How can I get involved?

Sign up to attend one of our monthly meet ups in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. Drop Eva, our Programme Manager a quick email letting her know which city you’d like to get involved – Eva@inspiringstories.org.nz.

Applications for the 2016/17 programme will open June/July.

How Does It Work?

Meet some of our alumni

Bonnie Howland

Bonnie wants to help cure treatable blindness in the South Pacific. She’s developing an ethical cosmetics company, Indigo & Iris, which apportions profit from every product sold towards the Fred Hollows Foundation who do restorative eyesight surgery.

Since graduating in 2015, she’s incorporated the company, appointed an advisory board, found the right manufacturer, done product and brand development, started building the team, searched for seed‐funding, and is now preparing to launch.

Mark Bekhit, The Learning Collaborative

Since graduating Mark Bekhit teamed up with a friends to launch The Learning Collaborative. They successfully raised over $10k to kick-start the venture, which provides academic coaching and intensive courses to help High School Students succeed through NCEA.

Now in his 5th year of Medical School, Mark has taken on a part‐time role with Crimson Consulting founded by young New Zealand Jamie Beaton aimed at supporting young New Zealanders into the world’s top‐ranked Universities.

Melody Guo

Melody is developing a 21st century pen‐pal platform, Future E, connecting children in China and NZ to learn culture and language.

Melody is interested in strengthening our China > NZ relations, and the implications for trade if this is done well. She graduated from Live the Dream in 2015, has now completed three successful pilot iterations of the pilot programme with schools in Auckland and China, has just had the software fully developed, and is now preparing to scale up.

Laura O’Connell Rapira

Laura graduated from in 2014, and went on to lead Rock’Enrol – a venture that motivated thousands of young New Zealanders to enrol to vote in exchange for a ticket to a music concert.

Laura then found her dream job as the Campaigns Director for Acton Station, having played a leading role mobilising a community of 150,000 New Zealanders to engage in campaigns that affect our future. With Laura’s support, Acton Station has experienced significant growth and impact for New Zealand.

Louis Go

Frustrated by the ridiculous amount of food waste in our world, Louis wanted to do something. He teamed up with one of Christchurch’s local food social enterprises, Cultivate, and developed a new service layer to their business model.

Louis developed Cultivate Waste, a paid food-scrap collection service in the heart of the CBD, which then feeds into the local community gardens, the organic food box scheme, and local educatation.

Courtney Durr

As a personal trainer Courtney noticed a lack confidence for women in their bodies and themselves, and the impact this had on how they participated in society. Her venture Body Love Blueprint provides a positive space for women to work out in, equips them with the tools they need to live a happy, healthy life, and creates female leaders in the community who inspire everyday women to shine.

Courtney graduated from Live the Dream early 2016, and is working full‐time on her venture.

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