Duncan Ledwith — Trustee

Duncan is currently an Executive-in-Residence at the ICEHOUSE, an active angel investor, and he teaches entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland Business School. He sits on several advisory boards in NZ and abroad. Duncan brings a wealth of professional and international experience and passion for our microfinance work, helping MicroDreams and our implementing partner, South Pacific Business Development (SPBD), reach thousands of poor women. Duncan has spent time on the ground this year with MicroDreams’ partner SPBD in Fiji, learning the sector and company's ambitions, and is currently working with SPBD Tonga in their partnering strategy with local telcos to enable SIM-SIM payments, lowering the risk of mass cash handling, and hopes to roll this out across the region in 2013.

Duncan launched his professional career in the information technology (ICT) field and worked in companies of all sizes – from start-ups to large companies, including Microsoft where he spent 15 years specialising in developing and executing strategy for new businesses in many regions, including Services Strategy, Europe, MSN in APAC and MS Mobile, where he was latterly Head of Mobile in Europe, until he left for NZ in 2005. He has also launched many start-ups in Europe, US, Asia and Australasia, and has deep experience in this area as well as the corporate space. Duncan also has experience in the music industry, venture capital industry, wireless telecommunications and mobile industries.

Duncan moved his family to New Zealand in 2005 for lifestyle reasons, and having spent some time looking at the business world in New Zealand, he decided that he could add value supporting innovative New Zealand companies reach scale and expand internationally. Duncan has extensive experience working with many start-ups in NZ, taking them from early stage, through rapid growth and funding, through to graduation and commercial success, including the core challenge of preparation for investment funding, in which he has deep experience on either side of the table.