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Carter Holt Harvey Raises the Bar

As records tumble in Sydney, a Kiwi business has also produced a world-beating performance – Carter Holt Harvey’s new venture programme has generated 512 new business ideas from within the company.

When Carter Holt Harvey launched the i2b programme in July to uncover ideas it could turn into new businesses, a target of 250 ideas seemed an ambitious goal.

But, says James Baillieu, Associate Principal of management consultants McKinsey and Company, Carter Holt Harvey’s i2b programme has produced "about 30 per cent more ideas than any equivalent programme of any similar-sized company anywhere in the world.

"This sort of result shows the latent entrepreneurialism of New Zealanders – there are a lot of ideas out there looking to get to the market.

"It also shows that that Carter Holt Harvey is serious about aligning itself with the world-wide shift towards harvesting the value of intangible assets, especially knowledge and imagination."

i2b ideas came from Carter Holt Harvey sites all around New Zealand, from Auckland to Dunedin, and from company employees in New South Wales and Victoria.

Craig Knox, Carter Holt Harvey’s General Manager, New Ventures, says the quality and quantity of proposals made it a challenging task to select a manageable number for further development.

"We picked 45 ideas that we’ll work on. Everyone who generated a winning idea will receive coaching and workshop assistance to prepare a business plan.

"By the end of the year, we’ll decide which of these new business ideas will be eligible for support from our New Venture Fund - we have $15 million set aside to support the creation of new businesses.

"We’re really pleased with the progress of i2b," says Mr Knox. "Five hundred ideas is a big vote of confidence in Carter Holt Harvey’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurialism.

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