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Mastercard partners with King Kapisi to honour decade-long Kiwi businesses
Wed, 6th Dec 2023

Mastercard has teamed up with New Zealand music icon King Kapisi to celebrate the remarkable achievement of Aotearoa's small businesses that have been operating for a decade. The initiative is based on the idea that significant life milestones, such as turning 100 years old, are traditionally recognised by the monarchy.

The feat of running a small business for ten years is far from easy. Stats NZ reveals that among all businesses founded in Aotearoa a decade ago, fewer than 1 in 3 (28%) are still operating. The survival rate drops to 25% for those in the Accommodation and Food Services, and Retail Trade industries. Comparatively, estimates from the UK's Office of National Statistics suggest that 1 in 3 (32%) of British citizens born this decade will live to be 100.

In an endeavour to acknowledge the dedication of long-standing small businesses, Mastercard will award deserving establishments with a letter from 'the King'. Ruth Riviere, Country Manager, New Zealand and Pacific Islands, Mastercard, commented, "Many don't realise quite how remarkable (and improbable) their achievement is – so Mastercard would like to change that and celebrate their efforts."

Riviere went on to mention that King Charles was initially approached for participation, but after receiving no response, the decision was made to bring in 'royalty' of a more local kind. Kiwi hip-hop figurehead King Kapisi, also known by his real name, Bill Urale MNZM, is thrilled to be involved. Urale said, "I jumped at the opportunity to celebrate those who have taken a risk, ridden the highs and lows, and achieved this amazing milestone."

Eagle Bar, an Auckland institution and LGBTQIA+ community hub, recently celebrated its 10th year in operation. Owner Kurt MacIntosh expressed pride and gratitude for reaching this milestone, and appreciation for the recognition from Mastercard and King Kapisi. "It's a reminder that small businesses like ours play a vital role in our communities. I'm excited to see what the future holds for Eagle Bar and for all small businesses in Aotearoa," MacIntosh said.

Aotearoa's small business owners who have surpassed the impressive 10-year mark can nominate themselves for royal recognition through Mastercard's Instagram page. An official royal recognition letter from King Kapisi, framed and signed, will be bestowed upon the first 50 businesses. All successful applicants will also receive personalised digital assets to exhibit in-store and on digital platforms. Furthermore, three fortunate businesses will receive a special visit from King Kapisi himself.