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$20k for NZ’s favourite social enterprise
Mr Four Eyes RB: Describe Mr Four Eyes Ravi Dass:
Mr Four Eyes offers personalised eyewear to New Zealanders at a price we can all afford. Our goal is to make eyewear accessible to everyone - especially Kiwi kids. So a big part of Mr Four Eyes is our one-for-one model, where, for every pair of glasses we sell, we donate a pair of glasses to NZ children.
RB: Tell us about the brains behind Mr Four Eyes. RD:
Mr Four Eyes is a husband and wife team. I (Ravi) wear a couple of hats, the first being an optometrist. The other being a keen volunteer. I’ve done a fair bit of charity work in the Pacific Islands and bring this side of my experience into the business. Steph, my wife and business partner, has also developed a passion for helping people. We both have a strong understanding and empathy for the type of challenges that many New Zealanders needing eyewear face, and together we’re merging our skills to help overcome these.
RB: Tell us about the “aha” moment that bought Mr Four Eyes to life? RD:
It happened about five years ago after I saw a young patient struggling with her vision. Her mother came to me for a second opinion. She had passed school screening eye tests yet was still struggling at school. She was 10 but had the reading level of an 8-year-old. So I gave her reading glasses. This changed her life. Within three months she was reading like a 12-year-old again. I increasingly started to see similar cases. Even people in their twenties with eye problems which had never been picked up or who simply couldn’t afford eyewear. This made me wonder how many kids were not being diagnosed or treated? Or who couldn’t afford it? Voila, Mr Four Eyes was created.
RB: What gaps does Mr Four Eyes fill? RD:
We fill both social and business gaps. Socially, with our price point, we make eyewear accessible to everyone. Our one-for-one model also makes eyewear accessible to kids who otherwise wouldn’t. Our new website will offer unique services like free home try and a re-glazing service to put new lenses into people’s (new or used) frames for them. Both these services are currently missing in the market.
RB: What will society look like 10 years from now because of Mr Four Eyes? RD:
Every child and adult in need of corrective eyewear will affordably have access to it. Mr Four Eyes will also have played a collaborative role to ensure all future NZ kids have their eyesight tested earlier and are treated to give them more opportunity to benefit from their education. Right now kids with vision problems commonly experience difficulty reading and concentrating as well as health problems like headaches.
RB: Do you see Mr Four Eyes evolving into something bigger? RD:
Absolutely! Currently we’re focused on the online (sales) side of the business, but we have big goals to grow our business beyond this to ensure that eyewear becomes accessible to all New Zealanders. There’s also scope to expand internationally. We see some great technological advancements happening in other industries that we want to apply to the eyewear industry. For example more personalisation, style, speed of delivery, and better value.
CareEd4 Rosie Bosworth: Describe what CareEd4 is? Lisa Watkins:
CareEd4 is a new childcare model designed to help young, solo and disadvantaged parents to move from the benefit into the workforce. CareEd4 will provide centre-based childcare that is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week as tailored, individual support services and related childcare solutions in order to help break the beneficiary cycle and transition young and vulnerable parents back into paid employment.
RB: Tell us about the brains behind CareEd4? LW:
CareEd4 is a partnership between the Sustainable Business Council (SBC) and Barnados, so there’s a breath of complementary skills from both organisations. From the Barnados side, the programme is leveraging expertise and knowledge within the Barnados
“Right now kids with vision problems commonly experience difficulty reading and concentrating as well as health problems like headaches."
KidStart Childcare programme. The SBC catalyses the New Zealand business community to have a leading role in creating a sustainable future for business, society and the environment. RB: Tell us about the “aha” moment that bought CareEd4 to life? LW: The concept evolved through an idea developed by the SBC focused on the social role of business. We recognised that a major barrier for young solo parents being able to participate in the workforce was the lack of quality childcare that provides care out of normal business hours. The Council then approached Barnados to create an innovative solution. RB: What gaps does CareEd4 fill? LW: During the development of the CareEd4 model we spoke with a lot of young solo parents to gauge exactly what the service would need to provide and cover. The general consensus was that currently there is no flexible childcare service and system they can access and trust. It was clear that childcare services that accommodate diverse ages, work hours and locations is something young parents don’t have access to. Our feedback also highlighted the need for a range of additional tailored supports such as money and debt management, obtaining a driver’s licence and building resilience. RB: What will society look like 10 years from now because of CareEd4? LW: In ten years from now lives across NZ will be improved because of CareEd4. The rates of NZ youth unemployment and beneficiary dependancy would have also significantly reduced. Many more young solo parents will be in work, reducing long-term welfare dependency and child poverty. RB: Do you see CareEd4 evolving into something bigger? LW: Yes, we believe there is great potential to provide the service in communities across the country, tailoring those services to meet local needs. For example, in rural communities, a service could be adapted for young families working in the dairy industry. So as we roll out the programme we will continue to look at opportunities where we can refine, and expand the model to ensure as many parents and children as possible can benefit from the programme and its visions.
RB: Describe Patu Aoteaoa? Levi Armstrong: Patu Aotearoa is a whanau-based gym that delivers group exercise sessions in a fun environment. We aim to reduce health and social issues and inspire healthy, active lifestyles within communities, marae, workplaces and schools. RB: Tell us about the brains behind Patu. LA: Patu consists of myself (Levi Armstrong), Jackson Waerea and Kia Diamond. Each of us are fit, healthy Maori born and bred in the Hawke’s Bay. We all have young families and a love of sports and chilling out with our whanau. I have a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation. Jackson is a trainer at Patu and a health promoter at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga. Kia is our administrator. She is wanting to up-skill and develop her knowledge in the business administration sector. RB: Tell us about the “aha” moment that bought Patu to life? LA: After gaining the experience of studying and working as a personal trainer at local gyms I wanted to create a product and a brand that worked for our whanau. I saw merging group exercise with a whanau-based environment as a great opportunity to engage with community and make a positive change. RB: What gaps does Patu fill? LA: Patu’s model is unique in that it creates an environment and a place where our whanau and communities can feel comfortable and worthy. We are a positive tribe, creating changes among communities of New Zealanders – both physically and mentally. Unique to Patu is our specific focus on inspiring whanau to invest in health and wellbeing, and gain a greater sense of purpose and value. RB: What will society look like 10 years from now because of Patu? LA: We will have engaged with whanau across NZ from all walks of life and helped to support and inspire them and transform them into healthier, more fulfilled people. We will have created a positive tribe of people and helped to reduce the health and social disparities that we have in Aotearoa. RB: Do you see Patu evolving into something bigger? LA: We want to transform Patu into a nationwide, franchiseable fitness model, so that irrespective of location, we can provide the tools and support to whanau who are willing to make positive changes in their lives. We’d also like to create more community leaders and community using our model as a way to share knowledge and vision with whanau across NZ in ways beyond just exercise.
Lisa Watkins from CareEd4.
Levi Armstrong from Patu Aotearoa.