Global entrepreneur Linda Jenkinson's advice to budding entrepreneurs is to be audacious - and you don't need to leave home to do it.

She was back home in Manawatū to meet with the Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) to work as a mentor in the just-launched Te Aho Tāmaka (TAT).

TAT is a regional growth project that celebrates leaders in academia, business, arts, sport, culture, technology, theology and more.

Linda said she grew up on a farm in Hiwinui, the "windiest place in the southern hemisphere".


"There was always a headwind and we always had to lean in."

It was this headwind battle that Linda said led to her leaving for Wellington which set her up for her global career.

"Growing up in Hiwinui gave me a base for life."

Linda's advice for those with entrepreneurial blood flowing through their veins — "be audacious and go and find a company".

"When I was young I had to leave Palmerston North, but today you can work from here and build something that is global. The shift is happening."

Now back in New Zealand, Linda said she was mentoring entrepreneurs through her Level-Up business.

One company Linda is mentoring is Palmerston North's Frogparking which she says is the sixth fastest-growing company in New Zealand.

Linda has spent the past 16 of her 20 years overseas in Silicon Valley.


She spoke of New Zealand as being ethical, authentic, transparent, world leading, and home to Māori and Pasifika cultures.

As someone who has lived in 23 cities around the world, Linda said New Zealand "really is godzone".

Linda joined the region's top leaders who have confirmed their support for Te Aho Tāmaka.

These top leaders include EziBuy founder Gerard Gillespie, Massey University vice-chancellor Steve Maharey, former Adidas Global chief financial officer Robin Stalker, former Palmerston North mayor Sir Brian Elwood, New Zealand Anglican Bishop Sir David Moxon and Spark Director Simon Moutter.

Te Aho Tāmaka plans to bring national and international attention to the Manawatū while drawing a richer picture of the region through the stories of the region's leaders.

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