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The Icehouse And Supporters Create Scholarships

The Icehouse And Supporters Create Scholarships to Help More Kiwi Businesses Grow

The Icehouse, a business growth hub, has created a scholarship fund to support owner-managers of privately owned businesses who want to invest in personal and business growth through the Icehouse. These scholarships are made possible by the hugely generous donations of a few successful kiwi business people.

The purpose of the fund is to enable more owner-managers to attend The Icehouse Owner Manager Programme by decreasing the cost barrier through the provision of a sponsorship.

The fund will see 18 scholarships awarded to business owners this year. The criteria for applications are: $3m+ turnover with a significant opportunity and ambition for growth; and equity stake in and management control of the business. Special consideration will also be given to under 35s, females, exporters or people from diverse groups.

Two of the donators to the fund are Bernie and Kaye Crosby from Prolife Foods. The Hamilton couple have kick-started the scholarship fund with a huge donation of $100,000. This money is aimed at helping Waikato businesses in need of a hand up.

Their contribution to the fund will see six businesses supported onto the Owner Manager Programme every year for the next three years and they are particularly keen to support businesses from their Waikato region.

Mr. Crosby has been involved with The Icehouse and more specifically the Owner Manager Programme since he attended the programme in 2003. He says it was instrumental in helping him take the business forward after losing a third of it to an Australian supplier.

“The Owner Manager Programme provided a grand opportunity to develop a sustainable business plan for Prolife Foods, which would be globally best practice and would see us continuing with that plan for many years to come to develop our international and innovational capabilities. Today we still have that as our basis and platform for doing business. Our business employs 1,000 scattered between New Zealand and Australia and we have increased turnover 10-12 times.

Due to their success, the Crosbys are determined to help out other local businesses looking to grow and Mr. Crosby says that if they can do it, so can many others.

Other donators to the fund include: Graham and Anne Catley, founders of Stolthaven Australasia and participants on the Owner Manager Programme in 2001; and Impact Capital Management. Andy Hamilton, CEO of The Icehouse says without the support of these companies and people, this fund wouldn’t have been possible.

“This is such an important investment to kiwi businesses and the NZ economy. It will enable us to work with more owner-managers through the programme and help them grow. The donations from the sponsors have made this all possible. These people are passionate about what we do and want to enable us to continue our mission of growing the SME sector”.

Applications for Scholarships for the July programme are open now and close 1 May. For more visit

The Icehouse hopes to grow the Scholarship Fund even further by the end of the year.


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