The auditorium at Tamatea High School has been buzzing with the ideas and planning of all the Year 11 students who are taking part in the Young Enterprise Trust BP Business Challenge.
What is the Challenge? Initially students go through several business challenges where they redesign a common product. Who wouldn’t like to use a shopping trolley with larger wheels, a GPS tracker and a chilled products storage section? Then the students choose a problem and develop a full business plan to solve the problem. In a ‘Dragons’ Den’ type situation, judges from the business world then come in to assess the students’ presentations and select the most viable business plan.
One of the judges, local personality Levi Armstong from Patu said he was impressed with the quality of ideas and presentations. “If I had a spare million dollars, I’d be investing in some of the ideas here. It would be great to see them go to the next level” Armstrong added that he liked the strong social and environmental focus of many of the ideas.
Visiting Young Enterprise Trust presenter for the programme, Wayne Prince, said that he has been impressed with the positive engagement of the students and their high enthusiasm. “There have been some amazing products being proposed – a straw with a built-in water filter, a puffer jacket with inflatable panels to double as a lifejacket, harakeke (woven flax) shopping bags and basketball apparel to raise money for a trust to encourage young people into sport.” His associate presenter Charlizza Harris was delighted to be back using her skills at her old secondary school.
Tamatea High School Principal, Robin Fabish, said that he was thrilled to give the Tamatea High students the opportunity to think about business as a career pathway. “We’re all about ensuring that our students leave school with a meaningful pathway – whatever that looks like. NCEA is a part of it, but the careers coaching and goalsetting we do with every student is the critical element. The BP challenge expands our students’ horizons and gets them thinking about business as a real possibility.”