Sir Owen Glenn gifts $2.6 million to University of Auckland Business School to promote innovation and entrepreneurship

28 February 2017
Sir Owen Glenn is a long-time benefactor to the Business School

The new Dean of the University of Auckland Business School, Professor Jayne Godfrey, is delighted to announce a gift of $2.6 million from Sir Owen Glenn to support innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives at the School and across the University, including a new innovation hub.

“Sir Owen is a long-time benefactor to the Business School, and we are very grateful for his latest generous gift,” says Professor Godfrey.

“The Business School recognises that this generation of graduates need skills in innovation and entrepreneurship to help drive economic growth, whether they’re planning to launch a start-up, join an established company or advance sustainability goals.

“Sir Owen’s gift will support our teaching and research in this vital area, and help extend its benefits to all students across the University through the new innovation hub.”

“Today’s universities must equip their students for radically new ways of doing business and of thinking about the relationship between business and society,” says philanthropist and businessman Sir Owen Glenn.

“I’m excited to be supporting the University of Auckland Business School’s bold vision and progress in rising to this global challenge. It’s about nurturing a new breed of graduate who is innovative, entrepreneurial, business-savvy, globally connected and capable of having both an economic and social impact.”

The innovation hub, opening later this year, follows the maker-space trend sweeping Ivy League universities. It will provide the space, tools, support and environment for students to collaboratively generate ideas and test them. It is designed to foster an entrepreneurial mind set through cross-pollination of ideas, experimentation, and a sense of creative play.

The hub, which will be run by the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a University-wide centre based at the Business School, has also received funding from PWC, Beca and the Li Ka Shing Foundation.

The University of Auckland is already ranked the most innovative University in Australasia, according to the inaugural Reuters Top 75: Asia’s Most Innovative Universities rankings.

“The Business School is focussed on conducting excellent traditional and applied research into innovation, and on bringing the latest research insights to our students,” says Professor Godfrey.

“The ability to generate or recognise good ideas, test them out, and perhaps develop them into a commercial product or solution, will greatly serve students in their future working lives and the wider society.”



Nicola Shepheard Media Relations Advisor



  • The donation has been made to the University of Auckland Campaign For all our Futures. The University aims to address, with philanthropic help, some of the key issues facing New Zealand and the world such as: access to quality education; a clean environment; preventing adult disease before birth; ensuring those with talent can reach their full potential; integrating creativity into all our lives; improved cancer survival rates; a modern robust economy; and an environment safer in earthquakes
  • Information about the campaign is available at
  • The University of Auckland is recognised as the most innovative university in Australasia. It came 27th in the inaugural Reuters Top 75: Asia’s Most Innovative Universities list, ahead of leading Australian universities, and was the only university in New Zealand to make the top 75
  • The University of Auckland is the only New Zealand university ranked in in the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings. It is also the highest ranked New Zealand university in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and in the Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities.
  • According to the 2016 QS World University Ranking, the University of Auckland Business School is the best place in New Zealand to study Accounting and Finance, Property Law, Business and Management, Economics and Information Systems.