Five inspirational female entrepreneurs will pitch their business to a high-profile judging panel and online audience on 23 November 2021 as they vie to win $10,000.

Run by Hamilton-based business growth ecosystem, Soda, Rise Up aims to encourage, support and celebrate female entrepreneurship in Aotearoa.

“Women are heavily underrepresented in entrepreneur statistics – only 20 per cent of high growth startups in Aotearoa have a female founder. Yet every day at Soda we work with incredible female founders and business mentors so we know first-hand that women have the talent, innovation and grit to become successful entrepreneurs,” says Soda CEO, Erin Wansbrough.

“We created Rise Up to encourage more women to consider entrepreneurship as a viable career, remove some of the barriers to starting their own business and to champion female entrepreneurship in Aotearoa,” she adds.

The five Rise Up finalists are: Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha, founder of BDÉT; Chloe Van Dyke, co-founder of Chia Sisters; Gaelle Thieme, founder of Dust & Glow, Wendy Quach, founder of &Again; and Dr Angela Lim, co-founder of Clearhead.

Rise Up is an online event being held from 3-5pm on Tuesday 23 November 2021. The event is free and open to the public. Register for your free ticket here.

Rise Up features Taaniko Nordstrom from Soldiers Rd Portraits as MC and guest speaker Kendal Collins from Sisters United. The online audience will have an opportunity to vote for their favourite business which will be awarded the People’s Choice winner.

Rise Up is sponsored by Callaghan Innovation, Wintec and Chow:Hill Architects.

Rise Up 2022
(L-R) Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha – BDÉT founder, Wendy Quach – &Again founder, Gaelle Thieme – Dust & Glow founder, Dr Angela Lim – Clearhead co-founder and Chloe Van Dyke – Chia Sisters co-founder.

More about the finalists

BDÉT is an eco-friendly personal hygiene brand that’s leading the way in personal hygiene innovation. BDÉT creates personal hygiene products which transform ordinary toilet paper into a cleansing, hygienic wipe which can be flushed down the toilet.

Chia Sisters use high-nutrition fruits and seeds to craft health drinks and breakfasts. Its range is all natural, made from plants and with no added sugar. Chia Sisters was awarded ‘Best Drink in New Zealand’ and winner of the ‘Health Category’ of the New Zealand Food Awards.

Dust & Glow creates waterless, eco-friendly, ethically made, cruelty free, natural and vegan cleansers, shampoo and body wash.

&Again is an online consignment and thrift store. They have created a dedicated marketplace for women to shop second-hand online – selling directly from its website to consumers.

Clearhead is an online, one-stop-shop platform, designed by NZ doctors, which empowers New Zealanders to find the help they need. They do this by helping users understand their symptoms and providing personalised recommendations through a digital wellbeing assistant.

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