Created: Thursday, 16 July 2015 10:38
Twelve senior executives and business owners have been given the opportunity to attend the world’s most prestigious business schools after receiving Prime Minister’s Business Scholarships.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says the scholarships will allow our smartest executives to expand their international expertise, and are designed to grow business skills to help make New Zealand firms more internationally competitive.
"The scholarships offer recipients the chance to study at the world’s best business schools. They provide an opportunity to learn international best practices in management and leadership.
"The knowledge gained from the world’s top business schools by our senior executives will benefit the companies they return to."
This is the sixth year the scholarships have been awarded. Recipients will study at a range of top international institutions such as Harvard Business School, INSEAD (The Business School for the World), and the London Business School.
The study programmes range from 4 weeks to 20 months and funding covers up to 50 percent of course-related costs.
"Our distance from overseas markets and the size of our economy can be a challenge to firms wanting to enter international markets," Mr Joyce says.
"The scholarships will help to develop valuable networks and the global mindset of our business leaders. Ultimately, this will help to grow our economy and make New Zealand businesses more internationally competitive."
The Hawke's Bay recipient of the 2015 Prime Minister’s Business Scholarships is Stephen Smith of Hastings, Wine and Viticulture Director at Craggy Range Vineyards Limited.
Steve is a big man, both in stature and personality. ‘Towering and gregarious Smith, a polar bear of a man’ is how New York novelist and wine writer for the Wall Street Journal, Jay McInerney describes him.
'I was conceived in the middle of the great Bordeaux vintage of 1961,' is how Steve prefers to introduce himself.
'When you're born in 62, you look for any reason to link something to do with your creation to a better vintage!'
Steve’s presentations on the international wine circuit are illuminating and enormously popular. Time spent in his company is both inspiring and entertaining. His are the sort of engagingly earthy events where you might learn the kiwi interpretation of the word ‘bugger’ or rethink your attitude to humble fencing wire.
‘There are a few names people have called me, but I would describe myself as a vigneron,’ he says. ‘Somebody who has a piece of land and farms a piece of land and makes wine. My greatest personal ambition is to make truly great wines from vines that I’ve planted.’