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Social Entrepreneur, Founder of Eat My Lunch & AF Drinks

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Having a social purpose is no longer an emerging trend, it’s a requirement for every business.

Lisa King is the founder of Eat My Lunch, one of NZ’s most successful for-profit social enterprises and the founder of AF Drinks, alcohol free beverages to help the sober curious explore a different relationship with alcohol.

Eat My Lunch was created on the mission to ensure no child goes to school hungry. Lisa believes that business cannot just be about profits anymore and that business can (and should) bring about social change. Eat My Lunch has shown you can do well and do good at the same time. Eat My Lunch has given almost 2 million lunches and is an innovative and successful model that is sustainably transforming the lives of Kiwi kids. In 2022, they sadly stopped trading, but leave behind the legacy of a catalyst for real change, triggering the introduction of a government programme which now feeds 220,000 children every day. Of that, Lisa and her team are immensely proud.

In 2020, Lisa launched AF Drinks after cutting back on alcohol, she became more aware of the sober curious movement, and the things that made it hard to cut back on alcohol, even when we want to.
AF Drinks makes it easier to help the sober curious explore a different relationship with alcohol. By creating a conversation and community for the sober curious and normalising an alcohol free lifestyle. And by creating alcohol free drinks that give people a delicious, sophisticated, adult option when they're not drinking alcohol.
Since it’s launch, AF Drinks has had huge milestones of success including the opening of an alcohol-free bottle shop and a launch across the US.

Awards: Lisa has received numerous accolades for her work including:
2019 MYOB Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Winner - she then went on to represent New Zealand at the international awards in Paris.
2019 New Zealander of the Year Finalist - acknowledging not just her desire to address the issue of kids going to school hungry, but using her passion, creativity and commercial expertise to make it a reality.
2018 EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 Finalist
2017 Young Enterprise Distinguished Alumni Winner
2017 Women of Influence Community Winner
2016 Women of Influence Business Enterprise Winner
2016 Local Hero Award

Eat My Lunch has also been recognised for its business model and performance winning awards such as Deloittes Fast 50 Rising Star, Westpac Business Awards and TVNZ Marketing Awards.

Prior to starting Eat My Lunch, Lisa spent 15 years in FMCG marketing, working for the likes of Unilever, Fonterra, Heinz Watties and Cadbury’s.

Talking Points

Eat My Lunch and COVID-19:

In this session, Lisa shares how Eat My Lunch survived COVID-19 by pivoting their business - while still keeping to their mission!
Lisa was wonderful - so humble and inspiring! The people who attended our conference were blown away by her and all that she has achieved in such a short time. I am sure they will be buying/using Eat My Lunch in the future Agcarm

Lisa was voted the best speaker not only for the amazing work she and the team at Eat My Lunch are doing to help kids in need but for her strong and unique business model. Lisa had many a quantity surveying talking well into the break about her companies structure and we do hope we have inspired delegates to support her organisation.

NZ Institute of Quantity Surveyors
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