Judges awed by Entrepreneur of Year’s achievements at young age

International Volunteer HQ founder and chief executive Daniel Radcliffe was last night named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year at an event held at the Langham Hotel in Auckland.

In the space of just seven years Radcliffe has sent more than 35,000 volunteers overseas to 26 different countries through IVHQ, now one of the world's leading volunteer travel companies, and marketed almost entirely through social media.

Awards judge chairman Greg Cross said that Radcliffe was "almost a prototype" of what he hoped New Zealand's next generation of entrepreneurs would be like.

"Dan epitomises the next generation of New Zealand entrepreneurs. He runs his business out of New Plymouth but he's a global entrepreneur and he started as one right from the outset," Cross said.

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According to judges Greg Cross of Cross Ventures and PowerbyProxi, John Penno (Synlait Milk), Sir William Gallagher (Gallagher Group), Tim Alpe (Jucy Group) and Emma Hill (Michael Hill International), the competition was a close one, but they collectively felt that the scale and quality of Radcliffe's work made him deserving of the award.

Radcliffe, 30, is only the second Young Entrepreneur category winner to be awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in the 16 years the awards have been run in New Zealand, a feat awards organiser Jon Hooper said was an incredible achievement.

"I think on reflection, this year was a standout year in the young category, it was very strongly contended and there were a number of fantastic stories there," Hooper said.

Hooper noted that Radcliffe ticked all the judging boxes, but was a particularly strong candidate in the national and global impact as well as innovation criteria. He added that the final point for the judges was Radcliffe's personal integrity as shown through the impact his business was having on a global scale. "The final piece was that personal integrity and influence, and the work that [Radcliffe's] organisation is doing and the impact it's having on communities and changing lives. It's having a massive impact globally and socially," Hooper said.

"It's a pretty inspirational story seeing how young Dan is and what he's managed to achieve in that time."

Radcliffe completed a BCom and a masters in business at Otago University. Following this, he took up a corporate job in Auckland, however just three days in he realised the office job wasn't for him and quit.

After a volunteer travel trip to Kenya, Radcliffe said his business background kicked in and he realised it could be done a lot cheaper.

In 2007, Radcliffe set up IVHQ and has since grown the business extensively with volunteer opportunities in a range of fields including teaching, childcare, medical, construction and wildlife conservation.

The world finals of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards will be held in Monaco next year where Radcliffe will represent New Zealand.

Daniel Radcliffe
• Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2014.
• Founder and chief executive of International Volunteer HQ.
• Has sent more than 35,000 volunteers to 26 different countries.
• Will represent New Zealand in the world finals in Monaco next year.