Old head on young shoulders
He’s 17 and already a chief executive officer and over the weekend Adam Wark was put through his paces with the country’s best young entrepreneurs.
As part of the Young Enterprise Scheme, run through schools, Adam was one of 80 students who had their business acumen tested at Massey University in Albany.
In teams, each with a mentor from the business industry, they had to come up with a product, marketing strategy and multimedia presentation to sell to a judging panel that included representatives of the Harvard Business School and the competition sponsors, FedEx.
Adam said last week he was nervous, but up for the challenge.
‘‘It’s a great opportunity for me to develop my skills, meet young people like myself who are interested in business, and make contacts.
‘‘I just have to go for it and see what happens,’’ he said.
Although they did some research into past competitions, Adam and his team went into the competition in the dark, because the product they were asked to develop and market wasn’t revealed to them until Saturday morning.
‘‘We’ve got no idea what we’re in for, but it’s exciting,’’ he said.
Adam is no stranger to being an entrepreneur.
He and fellow business studies students Rachel Coates, Jamie Sommer and Matt Cook created a company, Orchard Originals, last year to sell their homemade orange and ginger jam as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme.
His business card lists him as chief executive officer.
Adam and his classmates took first place at a New Zealand-wide Dragon’s Den competition on the strength of the product and the way it was marketed and sold last year. In 2013, the jam made them $1300. It is available at markets and at the Roundabout Bar in Tawa.
Adam’s year 13 subjects are business, economics, statistics, media studies and history.
He said he had lots of business ideas that he hoped to develop.
His ideas include an app to help college students.
Six of the 80 students from the competition in Auckland will be chosen later this week to represent New Zealand at the Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge in Hong Kong in August.
Businessminded: Tawa College student Adam Wark had a stern test of his business skills in Auckland over the weekend.