West Coast entrepreneurs put their skills on display
Emerging business tycoons put their ideas to the test at this year’s second inaugural West Coast YES Business Challenge final pitch awards event last night.
Every year Tai Poutini Polytechnic supports The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) across West Coast high schools. The challenge sees teams of secondary students come up with a business idea, then plan and execute their venture under the guidance of local mentors and YES supporters.
For the first time last year an end-of-year gala awards event was held where students offer their final pitch to a panel of judges and winners are selected. The event was repeated this year with fantastic ideas shared.
In 2022, nine teams from West Coast high schools have been involved in YES challenge. Awards from the final pitch were:
- Tai Poutini Polytechnic Young Enterprise West Coast Overall Winner of 2022 – BlessedArtsNZ - Bless Groome from Westland High School
- Development West Coast Award for Excellence in Innovation went to – BlessedArtsNZ - Bless Groome from Westland High School
- West Coast Trades Academy Award for Best Community Focused Business - Aroma Uru – Paris Jackson-Roberts, Prakriti Dhakal, Sophie Donaldson and Marty Rochford from Greymouth High School
- Papa Taiao - Excellence in Regenerative Enterprise – BlessedArtsNZ - Bless Groome from Westland High School
Judges commented on the quality of the pitches at the event and the fantastic business plans that student teams had taken from an idea into a successful venture.
The judging panel included: Tai Poutini Polytechnic Executive Director Alex Cabrera, Development West Coast Chief Executive Heath Milne, ASB Rural Manager and Vice Chair of Māwhera Incorporation Marie-Louise Davidson and Tai Poutini Polytechnic Hard Stone and Jade Carving Tutor and Business Owner of Evolving Stone Sheree Warren. Also attending the event were YES Chief Executive Terry Shubkin and Regan Powell, YES South Island Teaching Mentor.
ASB Rural Manager and Vice Chair of Māwhera Incorporation Marie-Louise Davidson says I was so impressed with the innovation and enthusiasm of everyone that presented to us last night. We really have such talented students here on the Poutini and they should all be very proud of their achievements.
Tai Poutini Polytechnic supports the event through the coordination of on-campus events for all entrants, creating connections with YES community mentors and supporting schools and the trades academy to get involved in the challenge.
Director Strategic Initiatives, Vikki Roadley says it was great to see the students once again cap-off the year with a challenging final pitch and awards ceremony.
“Of course everyone was nervous for their final pitch, but it was wonderful watching them all step up to the task and clearly articulate their business idea, plan and outcome. The judges were clearly impressed with their efforts and recognised the work involved.
“As well as supporting young entrepreneurs, the YES programme is a great way for Tai Poutini Polytechnic to collaborate and partner with our local community, creating links between secondary and tertiary education and encouraging students to participate.”
Find out more about YES at www.youngenterprise.org.nz
Tai Poutini Polytechnic Executive Director Alex Cabrera presenting the TPP
Young Enterprise West Coast Overall Winner of 2022 – BlessedArtsNZ - Bless Groome
from Westland High School
From left to right: Development West Coast Chief Executive Heath Milne,
Tai Poutini Polytechnic Hard Stone and Jade Carving Tutor and Business Owner of Evolving
Stone Sheree Warren, YES Chief Executive Terry Shubkin, ASB Rural Manager and
Vice Chair of Māwhera Incorporation Marie-Louise Davidson and
Tai Poutini Polytechnic Executive Director Alex Cabrera.
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