Entrepreneur award finalist to share story with Australian

Cilla Hegarty, a finalist in this year's local Ernst & Young

Entrepreneur Of The Year competition, is sharing her story with

Australian business women this week.

Mrs Hegarty, the founder and chief executive of Christchurch-based

NZ Tax Refunds, New Zealand’s leading online tax refund

company, is a speaker at the third annual Women in Focus conference

in Queensland.

The conference with the theme "New Frontiers", hosted by

CommBank’s Women in Focus program, will draw over 100

business women from a range of industries and expertise across

Australia. Mrs Hegarty joins a lineup of international speakers who

will challenge delegates to think expansively, courageously and

with vision in their business, as they embrace new frontiers.

Mrs Hegarty says, "Attitude is the biggest thing for an

entrepreneur. Being successful requires the right mindset. You need

a can do attitude. You can be somebody and do something.

"Fostering an entrepreneurial mindset is also crucial. For me

failure has never been a consideration or an option. Challenges are

part and parcel of being in business and being successful.

Entrepreneurs also need to dare to have vision and think up new big

ideas and be curious and explore new things."

Mrs Hegarty says she seldom listens to a conversation without

thinking about how it could apply to her business. "Everything I

read, hear, see and do informs me - and might end up sparking an

idea to make my business better. Great ideas can come from


Mrs. Hegarty founded NZ Tax Refunds in 2008 out of a desire to make

it simple for people to get money back from the IRD. She had the

idea of making it easier for clients to find out if they were due a

tax refund while working in her accounting business.

"93% of our customers have found out they’ve overpaid their

tax in the past 5 years. Using our custom-built web-based system

our customers can find out whether they’re owed a tax refund

within 60 seconds in most cases. We’ve built a successful

business out of helping put the overpaid tax back into the pockets

of thousands of Kiwis. It’s been really satisfying."

The Women in Focus conference will be held in Noosa on 22-25

August. Two days after the conference concludes, on 27 August, Mrs

Hegarty will find out if she has been selected as a New Zealand

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year category winner. The New

Zealand winner will be announced on 18 October.