‘It’s a lifestyle’: Vanessa Goodson wins The Apprentice Aotearoa, walks away with $50,000

After 12 gruelling episodes where contestants battled it out for $50,000 Vanessa Goodson has been named as The Apprentice Aoteroa winner.

Goodson impressed the panellists with her business plan for her DIY balloon garland product, receiving praise for her charisma during her “boujee lifestyle” pitch.

The 30-year-old walks away with a $50,000 investment in her OMGNESS styling events and balloon business. Goodson successfully pitched her idea to a panel of business experts.

She beat out 13 other contestants for the top prize – including content creator Stephen McDowell in the final episode.

The top two contestants were tasked with working with the eliminated contestants to come up with the perfect pitch, banner, and advertisement for their product.

In the episode, she pitched what she was going to do with the $50,000 investment. After a shaky start, she soon won over the room with her enthusiasm and humour.

She impressed the panel with a solid business plan and her projected profits, and fielded questions about the product. Goodson said the IDIY balloon garland had a simple set-up process and they are also biodegradable.

“It’s a lifestyle,” Goodson said, summing up her pitch and why her idea should win. And her confidence resonated with the panel.

“You owned the room,” mentor Cassie Roma said, praising Goodson’s “palpable energy”.

Tomlinson said he admired her for her work, and Pero agreed Goodson’s proposal stood out.

“You bring something I’ve never seen before in a boardroom, and infectious charisma,” he said.

McDowell’s business and product pitch was an instant coffee with health benefits, however he failed to convince Pero and the panellists that his product would appeal to the high-end market he had in mind.

Four out of five panellists backed her and thought her idea was more commercially viable than McDowell’s.

Goodson was moved to tears when Pero confirmed she was the winner. As well as the 50k investment, she will receive ongoing mentorship for the next 12 months.

• The Apprentice Aotearoa screened on TVNZ 1 and is available to stream on TVNZ OnDemand.

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