Young Enterprise Scheme Alumna Lisa King participated in the programme at St Cuthbert’s school in 1994. She went on to study at the University of Auckland before pursuing a career in the corporate world with successful roles at Fonterra, Pepsico and Cadbury. Her entrepreneurial parents influenced her courage to leave her stable career and take the plunge in to launching Eat My Lunch with her partner and chef Michael Meredith.
Eat My Lunch began in 2015 and it’s been an incredible success ever since. For every lunch you buy they give a lunch to a Kiwi kid in need. The social enterprise has had over 2000 volunteers help make quarter of a million lunches for New Zealand children. Taking inspiration from the ‘one for one’ concept that companies such as Toms Shoes had adopted built a strong business model that deferred from the charity approach but still created a positive social impact.
Their orders quadrupled in just the second week of launching and within a month they had set up a PledgeMe campaign to raise funds so they could move out of home and into a bigger premise. They had the largest number of pledges in New Zealand ever and made $130,000. The fundraising enabled them to expand through the Auckland and Hamilton region. Their recent launch in Wellington was made possible by another successful PledgeMe campaign. This time they raised over $800,000 through PledgeMe Lend, where companies borrow from their crowds and then repay with interest.
They currently supply lunches to two Wellington schools, Holy Cross and Strathmore Park. The amount of lunches donated is dependent on how many lunches are purchased but once they commit to supplying a school they ensure they deliver on the promised number. Lisa has plenty of confidence that the Wellingtonians will sustain the demand. Trade Me has already purchased an order of 300 lunches in the first week alone.
Lisa has earnt plenty of well-deserved recognition for her work. She won the Business Enterprise category at this year’s Westpac Women of Influence Awards. Eat My Lunch won Excellence in Social Innovation for the New Zealand Innovation Awards in 2015. Plus, they took home three awards at the 2016 TVNZ Marketing Awards, winning judges choice for innovation, sustainability and transformation.
Lisa’s drive to address the issue of child poverty in New Zealand makes her an inspiration to anyone aiming to launch a social enterprise or contribute positively to society. We’re incredibly proud of her achievements and are pleased to announce her as a finalist for the 2016 Young Enterprise Alumni Awards.