Students enjoy a business experience
Tararua was well represented at NZ Business Week held at Palmerston North Boys High School in the first week of the school holidays.
Three students from Totara College — Benjamin Ellington, Sara Fraser and Malachi Dean — took the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship and Stephanie Buckeridge, runnerup in last year’s Innovate Competition was one of the Young Guns talking about their business developments.
New Zealand Business Week has been around for over 25 years and is about building brave business leaders. It is for year 12 and 13 high school students from all over NZ.
The NZBW programme started on Sunday July 8 and concluded on Friday July 13, every day being a full-on mix of inspirational speakers including Lisa King creator of Eat My Lunch, Simon Barnett representing OBO Protective Sports Gear, The Block contestant Stacey Cotrill and Robett Hollis, sportsman and business innovator.
Interspersed were some interactive workshops put on by the Resilience Institute and Tetra Map, and Toyota HQ, together with some physical challenges to let off steam at centres like Flip City, Linton Army Obstacle Course and The Escape Room.
Underlying the whole week was a group challenge to create a business proposition to solve an economic, social or individual problem and to present it to a Dragon’s Den group of business personnel. Ten groups of six, randomly selected, competed to win scholarships of $2000 at Massey University for each member.
The three finalists pitched to the dragons at the Formal Dinner on Thursday evening, with the winning team proposing a toothpaste with spores designed to medicate the body each time it was used.
Sara’s team made the final three with a proposal for flatpack 3D building kits to solve the housing crisis. She said presenting their case in the finals before the judges in front of over 100 people at the formal dinner was scary but fun.
Malachi’s team proposed a programme which would pair up lonely pensioners with cashstrapped students looking for accommodation, while Benjamin’s team proposed a website to prevent bullying of vulnerable people.
Malachi and Benjamin in a different group activity helped it win the Toyota Challenge to promote its latest car prototype to a target market of women in their 50s. Each member won sunglasses and a drink bottle.
All three felt they had learnt a lot about business and personal development.
They had made lasting friendships with students from all over New Zealand and had grown in confidence interacting in groups.
They said they enjoyed motivational speakers, particularly Robett Holiss, World Cup silver medallist snowboarder and businessman. They said his major piece of advice — the idea is OK but what you do with it is key — really appealed.
STEPHANIE Buckeridge (left) with the other four Young Guns talking to the students about their businesses.
BENJAMIN Ellington (thumbs up) and Malachi Dean (on Ben’s right) with their winning team at Toyota HQ in Palmerston North.
BENJAMIN, Malachi and Sara ready for the formal dinner.