An invitation to attend the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame gala dinner as a student escort was an opportunity not to be missed for Year 13 student, Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) entrant and emerging businessman George Matheson. So he polished his shoes, spruced up his school uniform and headed north, to mix and mingle with New Zealand’s business elite at the Cordis hotel, Auckland, on Thursday 15 August.
The New Zealand Business Hall of Fame recognises and celebrates people who have made a significant contribution to the economic and social development of New Zealand.
“It was a big formal dinner for some of the leading business people in New Zealand, hosted by [journalist] Samantha Hayes and with [Justice Minister] Andrew Little representing the Government.”
George’s role was to introduce 2019 laureate Mark Waller, former CEO and managing director of the EBOS Group, one of the largest suppliers of healthcare, medical and pharmaceutical products in Australasia. “He took EBOS from a small business to a listed company, hugely successful, and very well known in the New Zealand business community.”
For George, the most fascinating part of the evening was, “Hearing the stories of how the inductees got to where they are today ... often it was as if their success hinged on one moment that got them going, enabling them to strike off and away.
“It was inspirational, and quite cool to find out you don’t necessarily need to know everything at once in order to develop as a businessman. You can learn along the way and develop as you go.”
George, along with some fellow Agribusiness students, has enjoyed the experience of starting a small business manufacturing and selling Kākahi exfoliating soap and participating in YES challenges throughout the year.