Award for teen boss

Hamilton News - - BUSINESS - Louela Rosal Pe­garido

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.

Photo / Sup­plied

Si­mone Peers, 15, win­ner of the Girl­boss New Zealand En­ter­prise and Busi­ness award.

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