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Edmund Hillary Fellows visit Christchurch

A new generation of explorers will set foot in Christchurch on Thursday.

Our city is gearing up to welcome a group of global impact entrepreneurs and investors to Christchurch as part of the Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) Global Impact Visa (GIV) programme.

These highly talented entrepreneurs, innovators and investors will connect with local Christchurch businesses and individuals to share experiences, knowledge and creativity.


EHF is a three-year fellowship programme being offered to up to 100 high-calibre international entrepreneurs, investors and startup teams, along with 20 Kiwi individuals, to incubate and support innovative businesses with global impact potential.

The programme provides Fellows with a three-year Global Impact Visa and pathway to residency, meaning Christchurch could become home to some of these talented individuals.

A group of around 30 EHF Fellows from all over the world will spend two days in Christchurch, soaking up the best sights and attractions our city has to offer and exploring opportunities within the local business community. 

They include space entrepreneurs and global change makers Emeline and Eric Paat-Dahlstrom, co-founders of SpaceBase, a social enterprise focused on democratizing space for everyone by co-creating space ecosystems in emerging space industries - starting in New Zealand.

 Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says this is a fantastic opportunity to bring together international and Kiwi entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, government leaders and creative minds to create new opportunities for Christchurch and share lessons with our local start-up community. 

“Christchurch is a city of endless opportunity, open to exploring new ideas, new people and new ways of doing things – a place where anything is possible,” Ms Dalziel says.

“We are open for business and want to attract global, national and local partners and talent to bring innovative ideas here to our city. That’s why we’re excited to support the Global Impact Visa programme and welcome these highly talented entrepreneurs and investors to Christchurch.”

ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive Joanna Norris says there are strong synergies between EHF and our city.

“As the city’s economic development agency, we want to connect people, social enterprises and businesses with great ideas with those who can help commercialise them,” she says.

“Whether you choose to make Christchurch your home, work, invest or do business in our piece of paradise, we welcome opportunities to partner with you all to ensure the success of our city.”

 The group will meet with businesses and individuals from Christchurch’s various business, policy, tech and social enterprise communities and you might spot them out and about exploring our vibrant CBD and other treasures including Godley Heads, the Port Hills and the Botanic Gardens.

They’ll also attend an evening in celebration of former Cantabrian Meagan Fallone, the first New Zealander to be crowned the 2018 Hillary Laureate for her work empowering disadvantaged women in India and Africa.

This opportunity has been made possible thanks to the support of Christchurch City Council, Ernst & Young, ChristchurchNZ, BNZ, Lane Neave and the Hillary Institute.