Meet our L.A.B Champions, Kendall Flutey of Banqer and Levi Armstrong of Patu Aotearoa. They are two awesome young Kiwi social entrepreneurs who are passionate about ensuring that all young New Zealanders build the 21C skills they need to succeed.
We are in awe of the 21C skills that our Champions exhibit and that’s why we’ve asked them to share those, as well as their experience of running a social enterprise, with you. You’ll see them fronting our L.A.B™ learning videos, hosting our L.A.B™ Awards, and sharing their insights on social media.
Kendall Flutey is the co-founder and CEO Banqer, the financial education platform used by more than 63,000 Australasian primary school students.
Following four years at the University of Otago where she obtained her BCom and two postgraduate courses including her Masters, in 2012 Kendall worked in private enterprise at KPMG. With the desire to enter the tech world, Kendall decided to retrain, and subsequently began working in Wellington as a software developer.
Not long into her new role the idea for Banqer came along which sits firmly at the crossroads of these two industries. Since launch in early 2015 Banqer has progressed from an idea to multinational edTech supporting tens of thousands of students towards financial independence.
Kendall enjoys the new challenge that comes with growing a mission driven social enterprise and is most proud of the work they continue to do close to home in our local communities.
In 2018, Kendall was named Young Maori Business Leader in the 2018 University of Auckland Aotearoa Māori Business Leaders Awards, and Banqer the NZ Hi-Tech Awards Startup of the Year.
Creator, Patu Aotearoa
Patu Aotearoa is a new initiative founded to engage with whānau and decrease inactivity rates throughout New Zealand – particularly within Māori and Polynesian communities. Patu operates as a national social franchise, with a growing number of Patu whare operating across the Hawkes Bay area. Patu incorporates Māori language and tikanga, and recognises the benefits of working out together as a group, a form of collaboration which stems back to the Māori concept of whānaungatanga.
Co-founder and CEO Levi Armstrong saw the opportunity for Patu through his own experience growing up in Hastings, with his father and uncles in the Mongrel Mob, and brought his training and experience in sport and exercise to bear. As Levi says, “what we’re trying to create at Patu [is] an alternative brotherhood for rangitahi who are looking for a family. Patu is our own gang, with our own patch, our own clubs around the motu (island), but without the alcohol, drugs and crime.”
Levi says while getting fit and active brings people in the door, Patu is more of an urban marae than a gym and offers budgeting and nutrition advice as well as other support, including financial literacy. What excites him is seeing people doing things they never though they could – joining sports teams, joining the workforce, no longer committing crimes.
“Seeing the smiles on the faces of your own whānau, seeing them achieve their goals, seeing the camaraderie and sense of belonging – that’s the real buzz.”