Gisborne businesswoman honoured for making a difference in community

By Jessica Tyson

Gisborne businesswoman Candice Pardy is one of five finalists in this year’s SheEO venture awards after being recognised for making a difference in her community.

SheEO provides funding to women-led businesses and Pardy’s company, Jobloads, has been chosen as one of the ventures to receive funding, alongside Māori businesses Kiri Nathan and AWWA.

Jobloads is a digital employment company that helps workers and growers in the region collaborate together on temporary jobs. It was borne out of Pardy's own experiences as an orchard owner.

One of the first problems she noticed after buying her own orchard was finding workers to work on it.

“Then I started to really peel that back and I empathised with the workers. We were hiring contractors who were employing the workers and bringing them on site and to be fair, a lot of those contractors weren’t acting tika. It just wasn’t right,” Pardy says.

A lot of the workers were being exploited by their contractors, she says.

Contractors unfair

“They weren’t paying them fairly. They weren’t paying them on time. We were paying the contractor so that, for me, didn’t sit right.”

She thought there had to be a better way to futureproof the industry, find workers, keep them in the industry and keep them happy while they’re working.

“I felt it was just a huge opportunity to put things right and to really start to make some change.”

Pardy says the business is run on core Māori values such as manaakitanga, hospitality and tika, making sure that every job is right.

A merchant at heart, Pardy has a background in retail merchandising leading high-performance teams for one of Australia’s largest blue-chip organisations. She has a masters in management studies with first-class honours and is a recent graduate of the HortNZ Leadership Programme.

She is passionate about driving a more prosperous and sustainable primary sector and is working on the UN Sustainable Development Goals with particular focus on SDG #8 Decent work for all and economic growth and SDG #10 Reduced Inequalities.

She says this is the first year that three Māori ventures have been voted in by She EO network including Jobloads, Kiri Nathan and AWWA.

“So the SheEO Network is a global network of women who support wāhine in their ventures and they invest their own pūtea, money, into all these ventures and they vote for them. So we were pretty happy and just stoked to get invited,” says Pardy.

Launched by respected entrepreneur Theresa Gattung in 2017, the New Zealand division of SheEO.World has raised $906,000.

Gattung says, "I’m delighted that three of the top five Ventures were founded by Māori wāhine. I’m also pleased to see that we are continuing the geographic spread and now have ventures in Gisborne and Northland, joining past ventures from all around New Zealand."

The other two finalists were Goodbye SANDFLY and Goodbye OUCH, which makes certified natural products that protect the skin outdoors, founded by Becky Cashman and based in Kerikeri as well as Nisa, an organic cotton underwear label that employs women from refugee backgrounds in its Wellington studio and workroom, founded by Elisha Watson.

The winners will benefit from the support of interest-free loans, business mentoring and the expertise of a global network.

Full list of finalists:

AWWA - A sustainable alternative to menstrual products with latest fabric technology period-proof underwear, founded by Michele Wilson and Kylie Matthews. The Auckland-based business is opening a South Island headquarters in Blenheim in January 2021.

Goodbye SANDFLY and Goodbye OUCH – certified natural products that protect the skin outdoors, founded by Becky Cashman and based in Kerikeri.

Jobloads - a digital solution that enables collaboration and reduces frustration when people work together on temporary jobs, founded by Candice Pardy and based in Gisborne.

Kiri Nathan Ltd – the first Māori fashion industry to focus on community, ethical practice, and cultural integrity, founded by Kiri Nathan in Auckland.

Nisa - an organic cotton underwear label that employs women from refugee backgrounds in its Wellington studio and workroom, founded by Elisha Watson.