Award for teen boss
One of Hamilton’s youngest entrepreneurs, 15-year-old Simone Peers, has been officially recognised after successfully running a vending franchise.
The business was so successful, Simone got an award for it — the Girlboss New Zealand Enterprise award. The franchise, Hot Nutz, gives purchasers an exclusive licensed area to operate as many machines as they can. With five purchases a day, each machine can generate $3250 a year.
Girlboss New Zealand aims to close the gender gap in science, technology, engineering, maths, entrepreneurship and leadership. Trade Me and Girlboss New Zealand organised the inaugural awards.
Simone’s award was timely as the nation commemorated 125 years of Women’s Suffrage.
Award organisers said Simone’s ambition and determination to make it in the world of business fitted the bill of the nationwide search for young female trailblazers who are defying stereotypes and creating change in their communities.
Simone wanted to be financially independent from an early age, her mother Daphne said.
“But she was too young to work, so, when opportunity failed to knock, she built another door.”
At 13 Simone saved up and bought a Rainbow Loom Kit. Encouraged with the success of the loom venture, she tried her hand with Trade Me,
Buying and selling helps her grow, not only her money but also her confidence, she says.
It was while browsing Trade Me she found the Hot Nutz franchise.
“I was only 13 at the time but I knew I had the capital to buy the business, so convincing my parents that this was something that I had to pursue was easy.
“The only major obstacle in running my business and even using Trade Me, has been my age. As most of my nut machines are placed in pubs and clubs I require an adult to accompany me when I stock my machines or service them,” she said.
Simone sees herself as a bit of a jack of all trades when it comes to buying and selling.
“I did try my hand at delivering newspapers as most youngsters do. My most recent and very lucrative venture was selling washing pegs. I acquired a large quantity of new pegs on Trade Me and then used the Facebook Buy/sell page in our area to sell them for $1 a bag. I sold out in five days, over 500 bags of pegs,” she said. Simone — a year 11 pupil at Sacred Heart Girls College — can now afford to pay for her own school trips overseas and luxury items without having to ask her parents.
“I am off to Samoa soon on a school music trip and I am proud to say that I paid my own way.”
She has recently bought a business model on importing products and is hoping to get to the property ladder next.
“By that time, I would like to own a house to live in and part rent to other students.
Simone Peers, 15, winner of the Girlboss New Zealand Enterprise and Business award.