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.

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