Uniting ‘impact entrepreneurs’ for positive social change
Impact Entrepreneurs NZ wants to improve the state of mental health and happiness in New Zealand. It is raising ‘conscious conversations’ and uniting other business owners and entrepreneurs to collectively make a positive impact. NZBusiness caught up with its spokesperson – author, speaker and business owner Natalie Cutler-Welsh. NZB: How did the concept of Impact […]
Impact Entrepreneurs NZ wants to improve the state of mental health and happiness in New Zealand. It is raising ‘conscious conversations’ and uniting other business owners and entrepreneurs to collectively make a positive impact. NZBusiness caught up with its spokesperson – author, speaker and business owner Natalie Cutler-Welsh.
NZB: How did the concept of Impact Entrepreneurs NZ come about?
Natalie: I was co-hosting an event for speakers and event planners at the Pro Clima Hub in Auckland. We were networking when a conversation popped up around the shocking state of mental health and depression in New Zealand. A few minutes later, some of us posed for a photo and just before we snapped it I said to the ladies: THIS is the photo that we will look back on as the moment we decided that enough is enough with the state of mental health and happiness in New Zealand. We can’t wait for the Government or anyone else to fix this. We as business owners and entrepreneurs can come together and make a difference!
That moment sparked a few more conscious conversations and eventually led to me posting about it on my personal Facebook page. I was bombarded by people commenting, private messaging and ringing me wanting to help. All I said was this:
“I’m bringing together a bunch of inspiring entrepreneurs who want to collectively make a difference in the area of depression, mental health and happiness in New Zealand. It’s not specifically my area of expertise but connecting people for collaborations and to amplify impact is. Plus it’s a massive issue in New Zealand that gets me pretty fired up. Message me if you want to be in the loop.”
A few hours later it had 73 comments from people from all types of businesses wanting to be involved and help. The sense of urgency and desire to help was incredible.
NZB: What and who do you mean by
Natalie: It refers to business owners and entrepreneurs who want to collectively make an impact on positive social change. I think a lot of the skills and resilience that business owners have can help others (who aren’t in business) in their own lives – self-belief, putting yourself out there, calculated risk-taking to follow a path, goal-setting and reverse engineering towards that goal, dusting yourself off when you have a setback (and you will), asking for help and creating collaborations with others.
That, plus the skills and insights that these ‘impact entrepreneurs’ have to share in areas such as: mental health, poverty, climate change, water, housing, domestic violence etc.
There is a free Facebook group (search: Impact Entrepreneurs – collaborations for positive change) and occasional online and in-person meet ups with the purpose of creating collaborations for positive change.
NZB: Is this part of your core business?
Natalie: Not exactly, I’m a self-confessed extroverted extrovert and one of my top Gallup strengths is ‘activator’ – so I love to make things happen. Especially when I see a genuine need and an opportunity to have an impact. My area of expertise is not in life coaching or mental health but rather in helping people and businesses with visibility, resilience and wellness. Connecting people for collaborations and to amplify our impact by shining the light and sharing insights on specific issues and messages is what I do. I want to help the people who help the people.
We’ve started doing a series of ‘Conscious Conversations’ video interviews with some of these Impact Entrepreneurs. The topics range from ‘moving on from adversity’ and ‘self-love vs self-care’ to ‘Eco-therapy – finding happiness in nature’. The intention is to share some stories, tools, strategies and inspiration so that more people can support or up-skill either themselves or someone in their life – particularly those going through mental health challenges.
NZB: What is your vision for the impact that entrepreneurs can have?
Natalie: My vision is for us to help halve the suicide rate in New Zealand. Or, more positively expressed, to double our happiness. My personal view is that there is a direct correlation between people saying what they genuinely WANT (and then taking steps to move towards that) rather than living a life defined by obligations and what we think we ‘should’ do or said we ‘would’ do. This shift can help to boost resilience and wellness. One of my mantras in business and life in general is ‘Up your brave, say what you WANT and make it happen!’
I’m taking my own advice here and bringing together others who share my concerns and drive. We won’t do it alone, it’s a collective effort.
As for who we are – I think we’re most business owners in New Zealand. We are change makers, movers and shakers; we are impact entrepreneurs who won’t settle for fine or OK.
We are both saddened and fired up by the feeling of overwhelming forces and anxiety that we see around us.
We want to shine the light on things that need to be seen and speak about things that need to be said. Not for ego or brand but for impact and change.
Enough is enough. Let’s help ourselves and then help others to be honest about our emotions and express them with ease; be consciously connected; and be who we are.
To help with the Impact Entrepreneurs NZ movement; to watch some of the ‘conscious conversations’ and learn more about ‘impact entrepreneurs’ go to
Natalie Cutler-Welsh is founder of Go to Girl Ltd and Go to Girl Essential Wellness, and author of If Only They’d Told Me. She is a B1G1 (Buy One Give One) member and proud sponsor of I Got Your Back Pack, The Heartspeak Bridge-the-Gap Project and other initiatives aimed at raising resilience and helping people towards happiness by doing more of what they WANT.