Managing director Kaye-Maree Dunn and brother Mita created MEA (Making Everything Achievable) in 2010. Various media describe Kaye-Maree as a ‘wahine Māori tech entrepreneur’ who has made her mark in the DigiTech industry.
MEA creates opportunities where indigenous people can tell indigenous stories to the world, help organisations partner more effectively with indigenous peoples and enhance the ability to trade as indigenous peoples is what excites and ignites the MEA team. They utilise the practice of neuro semantic coaching, traditional knowledge, and lived experience to help engineer, facilitate and connect communities.
MEA is keen to support indigenous-to-indigenous trade in particular through the programmes they facilitate supporting indigenous women in business (AWE – supporters by the US Embassy) and the relationships they have fostered in e-commerce through the Ka Hao I Te Ao Programme, which is now opening into 19 countries working with indigenous communities in e-commerce and with their own tribal authority Te Rarawa where they hope to explore the possum skin trade.
Kaye-Maree grew up in Feilding, New Zealand. She is a Sir Edmond Hillary Fellow and a Senior Atlantic Fellow through the University of Melbourne. She has worked in Maori and Community development for over 21 years with a career spanning Child, Youth, and Family, The Department of Labour, The Māori Land Court, and NZ Maori Tourism and Community Housing. Previously she served on the Board of NZ Tech, Te Paepae Arahi, a Māori mental health provider in Lower Hutt, Hui E Community, The Para Kore Trust and was one of the Wellington Representatives on the New Zealand Māori Council.
Kaye-Maree has recently been involved in Social Enterprise Development, Governance Training, E-Commerce Development, and Whānau Ora Planning, particularly with hard-to-reach families. Kaye-Maree also co-founded and is the managing director of an ancestry company called Ahau (www.ahau.io) to build an indigenous digital identity system and share a decentralised genealogy and archival system with indigenous peoples.
Like many start-ups, Kaye-Maree has faced challenges in accessing capital. She had to bootstrap and learn business skills, the hard and best way of hard yakka and experience. As an indigenous social impact business, MEA reached their first million-dollar turnover in 2022.
Their primary customers are tribal authorities, government agencies, health providers and small to medium-sized businesses.
In 2-3 years, Kaye-Maree is looking to grow MEAs presence in Aotearoa, then enter through an invitation into business in Melbourne (Naarm) and other communities where they can complement and support the efforts of indigenous entrepreneurs and social enterprises. But, ultimately, she would love to see the waka heading to ‘where her team are healthy and thriving, are all financially and emotionally wealthy, have time to spend on ourselves and our whānau and where inner peace is the ultimate goal for all.’
It is now our time as indigenous peoples and we are stepping into our power.