Our Stories: Fran Hales

Written by Sophie Bevin.

fran halesIt all started in 1983 in Rangiora, New Zealand. Photographer Fran Hales had just taken a snap of her cat, Jezabel, on her new camera, a Kodak Ektra 200, which had a popup flash that doubled as a handle. Fran was 9 and her passion for photography had begun.

Fran has come a long way since her first paid shot of a girl holding a remote control. While the photo was used for a brochure, Fran was destined for brighter things. That photo really was a light bulb moment for her; photography was her passion, but making a living from it was still a dream at that time. She moved to London in 1997, attracted by the accessibility to Europe, the freedom of expression, arts and culture, and to meet new people.

After living in the UK for 14 years, Fran took the step to turn her passion into a profession in 2011.

It's our 6th Birthday - you are invited!

Written by NZBWN Organising Team.

UPDATE 8th June: Sold Out! Email info@nzwomen.co.uk to get on the wait list.

As they say, good things take time and we've been waiting in anticipation all year for the long awaited Modern Pantry 2.

The Modern PantryChef and New Zealander Anna Hansen opened her first restaurant in Clerkenwell not long before the New Zealand Business Women's Network launched and has hosted numerous events and heavily supported our Network. Now the wait is over and although we've been slightly delayed (we previously communicated and sent save the dates for 10 June) we will be the very first to experience The Modern Pantry Finsbury Square.

The evening will be a wonderful celebration of what our Network is all about, the opportunity to connect with each other, to learn and be inspired with lots of surprises thrown in. This will be an event not to miss and you will be able to say you were the first to dine at the second Modern Pantry. Usually people do amazing things to get on the guestlist of an new opening restaurant and you're already half way there.

Now every good birthday bash would be nothing without exceptional Kiwi wine and we're very lucky to bring you a new comer to the UK market, Blind River.


About Blind River

Blind River logoThe small Blind River vineyard is in Marlborough's Awatere Valley in the north-east of New Zealand's South Island. It occupies a sheltered spot at the foot of gentle, rolling hills overlooking the picturesque valley floor. Mount Tapuaenuku lies to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east.
Planted with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, the soils are deep, stony clay with seams of free-draining, clay-mixed gravels on river terraces. The vineyard is split into blocks with each treated separately and the corresponding wines individually handmade, ready for blending to achieve the ultimate in style and quality.

About The Modern Pantry

Anna HansenAnna Hansen MBE was raised in New Zealand before venturing out into the world of food. She trained as a chef under Fergus Henderson before joining Peter Gordon to open the Providores. In 2008 she opened the Modern Pantry Clerkenwell. In 2011 her first book "The Modern Pantry Cookbook" was published and she was awarded an MBE in the 2012 New Year's Honours list for her services to the restaurant industry. Summer 2015 will see her second restaurant, The Modern Pantry Finsbury Square open.

Where: The Modern Pantry Finsbury Square, Alphabeta Building, 14-18 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1BR
Closet Tube: Moorgate or Old Street
Ticket price: £30 includes welcome drink & nibbles, a sharing platter and small sweet. A cash bar will operate after first drink.


As we have very limited space please book your ticket now to avoid missing out. Please feel free to share this event with other Kiwi women who may be interested.

We're looking forward to celebrating with you on Monday 22 June.

**Please let us know when you book if you have dietary requirements/restrictions so we can pass this on well in advance**

Our Stories: Bronwen Horton

Written by Gabrielle Grant.

bronwenThere are a multitude of ways to introduce the founder of this network, who has achieved a considerable amount, recognised on an international scale, yet in true Kiwi fashion remains very humble, describing herself as "an average Kiwi".

After establishing the network mid 2009, launching the same night that a tube strike was announced in London with an initial base of 50 women, fast forward to today where the network has over 1100 women, and you begin to get a sense of Bronwen's determination, resilience, passion and sheer belief in her vision for this network.

Less than two years after establishing the network, early in 2011, Bronwen received an International Award from TIAW, the International Alliance for Women, for the economic empowerment of women. Not long after and alongside Kent Gardener and Paul Kendrick, Bronwen was a finalist for New Zealander of the year for their considerable fundraising achievements in aid of the earthquake in Christchurch.

Mentor Group: Getting to Start-Up Reality

Written by NZBWN Mentor Programme Team.


Are you committed to a new business idea and are now ready to crystalize the offering and move it forward? Or are you interested in starting your own business and have a few ideas but would like some help to ensure that the idea is the right one before commiting to this new start-up journey? Either way, this is the mentor group for you! Get the support and advice to move from start-up idea to start-up reality.

Mentor Group: From Start-Up Idea to Start-Up Reality

Dates: Six sessions starting on Thursday 16 April 2015. You must be able to attend all of the following eight dates: 16 April, 30 April, 21 May, 4 June, 11 June, 2 July, 16 July, 23 July
Times: 6:30-8:30pm
Location: near Trafalgar Square, London
Mentor: Avril McDonald

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Avril McDonald grew up in a small beach town in New Zealand, trained as a primary school teacher and then worked hard to become a Managing Director of a Global Digital Entertainment Company in London and became a mum.

She specialises in transforming ideas into reality. Right now she wants to transform ideas that have great meaning to her and a positive sustainable impact on our world. She wanted to create beautiful characters and stories that help kids manage tough emotions and feel brave (because we all have to be a little brave sometimes). She created www.feelbrave.com and continues on the delightful yet challenging journey of trying to develop a global children’s brand both as a business and with a charitable arm that has the vision to give children everywhere access to tools to help them feel brave and reach their pure potential.  

Applications closed: 9am Monday 23 March 2015

Our unique mentoring programme is an ongoing initiative that enables network members to jump-start their own individual journeys towards overcoming challenges, seizing opportunities, and realising their aspirations in any area of their life. Full details of the programme can be found here.

Dates don't work for you?
If you're unable to make these dates but are really keen to join a group on this theme then let us know and we'll see if we can get another group on the same theme started at some point in the future.

Not interested in this theme but want to be mentored?
New themes and groups will be launched regularly so make sure you are a member of the NZBWN to receive all the latest information. A list of upcoming themes can be found on the mentoring webpage.

What's the Goss?

We've been glued to the tv watching @Wimbledon! Who is heading along this year? Any tips on great places to watch the tennis around London?

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