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Pioneering Change For Women In The Underrepresented Export Industry

In the male-dominated export industry, Bonnie Slade, Founder and CEO of NaturKidz, is making her mark as a female entrepreneur. According to a 2022 report by BERL, female-owned direct exporters account for only 16.2% of all direct exporters in New Zealand. Among these women is Bonnie – defying the odds and paving the way for women in the industry.

"As a female entrepreneur in the export industry, I am acutely aware of the challenges that women face," says Bonnie. "Now, I am proud to be part of a growing movement of women who are breaking down barriers and reshaping the face of international trade. Together, we are proving that gender is no obstacle to success in the global marketplace."

Bonnie's entrepreneurial journey began with her personal experience as a mother, recognising the challenges busy parents face when seeking nutritious and appealing snacks for their children. Combining this insight with her impressive 20-year career in sales, strategy and marketing, Bonnie established NaturKidz.

Prior to founding NaturKidz, Bonnie held prominent positions in various industries, most recently as General Manager of the sustainable beverage brand Chia Sisters. This experience further solidified her commitment to creating products that prioritise trust and quality, values that are deeply ingrained in the NaturKidz brand.

Recently, NaturKidz won four gold medals and was named the Free-From Champion in the Outstanding Food Producer Awards. The NaturKidz range was also named as a finalist in the FMCG Product of the Year awards, with the winner announced later this year.

As a role model for aspiring female entrepreneurs, Bonnie continues to actively promote women and create opportunities for women in the export industry.

“I believe it’s important to share success stories of female entrepreneurs in trade,” notes Bonnie. “By highlighting our achievements, we can help to break down harmful stereotypes and normalise female leadership.”

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