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Abalro Health and GreenKiwi Supplements have been announced the joint winners of cohort two of the Global Kaitiakitanga Project  and the young entrepreneurs will travel to Expo 2020 for international business experience.

The New Zealand Expo 2020 team and New Zealand’s Young Enterprise Scheme made the announcement on Thursday 9th September after an exciting virtual Dragon’s Den-style pitch.

The Global Kaitiakitanga Project is a sustainability-focused programme which provides high quality mentoring and international collaboration for young New Zealand innovators who are shaping the future for a better world. A total of five young businesses were shortlisted earlier this year and have been participating in a seven-month programme which provided business development workshops led by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the New Zealand government’s international trade promotion and business development agency. Each business also had a dedicated NZTE mentor who guided them through their business development journey.


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. Robert Donohoe, Abby Green and Alex Livingstone 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 percent of the population will at one time in the life suffer from acne and studies show that barberries reduce acne by 43 percent in just four weeks.

“We are all incredibly excited, as winning was really the icing on the cake after such a great programme,” says Robert Donohoe, CEO of Abalro Health. “The mentorship, workshops, and exposure we got through being a part of the programme were invaluable, so being a joint winner is such a wonderful way to end it off. Being a part of Expo 2020 Dubai will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for us and after reading about some of the products made for past World Expos, we can’t wait to see what comes out of Expo 2020.”


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 by-product. GreenKiwi Supplements is pioneering a traceable, New Zealand grown olive leaf for the global nutraceutical marketplace.

“As a New Zealander, I am so passionate about our country, our story and what we have to offer to the world. I feel overwhelmed and excited to have won this opportunity to showcase my business and represent New Zealand to the world. This is an amazing programme with young entrepreneurs at its heart who can offer a fresh, important perspective,” commented Max Donaldson, CEO of GreenKiwi Supplements.


Both GreenKiwi Supplements and Abalro Health will travel to Expo 2020 in Dubai to showcase their products in the New Zealand Pavilion to a global audience in early 2022. The individuals from the winning teams will also act as New Zealand’s youth ambassadors at other youth and innovation related activities at Expo 2020.  

“This year’s finalists of The Global Kaitiakitanga Project were all outstanding. At Young Enterprise, we feel incredibly honoured to give New Zealand youth this platform. This year we’ve seen our future leaders addressing, supporting and solving global issues such as homelessness, nutritional wellbeing, cardiovascular disease, lack of educational resources and skin conditions which all impact societal wellbeing,” said Terry Shubkin, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise.

“A huge congratulations to both Abalro Health and GreenKiwi Supplements for their winning pitches. I cannot wait for both businesses to join us in Dubai at Expo 2020; representing young entrepreneurial talent from New Zealand on the global stage,” said Clayton Kimpton, New Zealand’s Commissioner-General to Expo 2020 Dubai.


To find out more about the Global Kaitiakitanga Project visit

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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