Young Entrepreneurs learn valuable business lessons and build networks in Dubai

The two winning teams from the New Zealand at Expo 2020 and Young Enterprise (YES) Global Kaitiakitanga Project have visited Dubai to promote their businesses at Expo 2020 Dubai and learn more about doing business in the United Arab Emirates and wider Gulf region.

The sustainability-focussed Global Kaitiakitanga Project provided high quality business mentoring and international collaboration opportunities for New Zealand’s young innovators who are shaping the future for a better world.

entrepreneurs at the New Zealand Pavilion
Alex Livingstone (L), Abby Green (C), Robert Donohoe (R), entrepreneurs at the New Zealand Pavilion

Abalro Health’s Robert Donohoe, Abby Green and Alex Livingstone joined Max Donaldson from GreenKiwi Supplements for a five-day visit to Dubai and the World Expo, accompanied by Elizabeth Pittman from Young Enterprise.

On the trip, the young business leaders met with senior representatives from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to understand more about doing business in the region, understanding the natural health products market and for feedback on their business plans.

The teams visited Expo 2020 Dubai, where they toured the New Zealand Pavilion to see how the story of kaitiakitanga or Care for People and Place, was being told to an international audience.

Max Donaldson entrepreneur at the New Zealand Pavilion
Max Donaldson entrepreneur at the New Zealand Pavilion

“Personally the pride, I had representing New Zealand at an event such as Expo 2020 couldn’t of been higher, the vision, and story-telling NZTE has developed promoted New Zealand private sectors with dignity, and fitted in almost all sectors of our economy with the primary industry and high value manufacturing taking the lead, all whilst respecting our bicultural identity” said Max Donaldson of GreenKiwi supplements.

They also had time to explore other country pavilions with a sustainability theme.

“Our trip to Expo 2020 Dubai was undoubtably one of the greatest experiences of our lives! The scale of Expo is hard to describe, but it is simply awe-inspiring. Being part of such an event was such an amazing opportunity, one that we will most certainly cherish for life. We were surprised by how grand the scale of Expo is. Every single pavilion and other features such as Al Wasl plaza are breathtaking and otherworldly”.

“Seeing innovative products with important applications, from all over the globe, has inspired us to keep developing our own products,” said Robert Donohoe, Abby Green and Alex Livingstone from Abalro Health.

In keeping with the spirit of international collaboration at World Expos, the young teams also met young business leaders from Italy and Austria at a pitch event held at the Italian Pavilion, to learn how others are incorporating sustainability into their businesses.

The young entrepreneurs also went on Studio Expo’s live television show to discuss

their companies and gave interviews to Dubai-based media.


Abalro Health

Harnessing the power of raw barberries, Abalro Health has created a supplement to help those suffering from acne. Using locally sourced products and reusable packaging, the company is the only New Zealand-based company using barberries. from Bayfield High School, Otago are on a mission to help the physical and emotional wellbeing of those in need. It is estimated that 80% of the population will at one time in the life suffer from acne and studies show that barberries reduce acne by 43% in just four weeks.

GreenKiwi Supplements

GreenKiwi Supplements is a vertically integrated business developed by Kerikeri High School student Max Donaldson. Max is passionate about the humble olive leaf and has developed a first-to-market, New Zealand grown olive leaf supplement which can support immune and cardiovascular health, from what is normally an industry biproduct. GreenKiwi Supplements is pioneering a traceable, New Zealand grown olive leaf for the global nutraceutical marketplace