Our Stories: Leah Rodrigues

Written by Eleanor McIntosh.

Leah croppedSiem Reap, Cambodia...home to the splendour that is Angkor Wat, the enigmatic Khmer people, and Leah Rodrigues' studio: a local training and production facility designing and manufacturing beautifully crafted women’s coats.

Founded in February 2014, Holi Studios has sought to bridge the gap between the sewing programmes run by Siem Reap-based charities, and the lack of stable employment following their completion, the idea for which came whilst Leah was working for a charity in Siem Reap in 2011. Leah observed that the limited availability of long term work (or even skill-based training), combined with “no questions asked” charity hand-outs, meant that a new generation of Cambodians were appearing to develop a "sense of entitlement", something which she struggled to reconcile with her “hard working” Kiwi upbringing and wanted to set about righting.

Our Stories: Dale Murray

Written by Susan Pratchett.

Dale MurrayChatting with Dale Murray, CBE reminds me of that quote about “Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day – the difference is how you use it”. I have a sneaking suspicion that Dale might just fit more into a single hour, than I do my 24.

As a phenomenally successful tech entrepreneur, awarded ‘Angel’ investor, active champion of women in business, one of Debrett’s 500 Most Influential AND a married mother of three young boys – it’s an inspiring, if somewhat intimidating CV. But Dale herself is the very opposite of intimidating. Frank, charming, disarming and funny – she’s everything you’d hope for in a Kiwi success story.

A born and bred Aucklander, Dale was part of the management team that founded BellSouth NZ (for anyone who can’t remember BellSouth and the glorydays of the Nokia 6110... it was one of the two original mobile networks in New Zealand, and has subsequently turned into Vodafone NZ). But the travel bug bit – and Dale found herself setting out on her OE. She was drawn to London and the UK, and like so many of us, once she arrived, she found it hard to leave.

Our Stories: Molly Beddingfield

Written by Eleanor McIntosh.

Molly BedingfieldA social entrepreneur to her core, change and transformation for Molly Bedingfield are as natural as living and breathing. Born and raised in Raglan, the daughter of two pharmacists, Molly felt her parents’ connection to their local community early on, and how no matter one’s “platform” in life this can be used to make a difference and empower others to be an agent for change.

This belief came to underpin Molly’s daily life and at 21 she moved to London to undertake international charity work with various organisations. After 25 years working in the sector, and as a business coach and counsellor, she established Global Angels in 2005, a charity which seeks to enable families and villages in some of the poorest and most destitute regions in the world to adopt long term sustainable solutions to resource and transform their communities.

What's the Goss?