Opportunities for young business entrepreneurs

By Tema Hemi

Northland Secondary students have been given an opportunity to bring their business ideas to life under a national economic strategy to boost rangatahi enterprise. Students were given 3-days to transform their innovative ideas into reality. 

From exercise programmes to Māori language apps, all created by these young entrepreneurs. 

For the past 3-days, these students have been given a taste of what it takes to transform their business ideas into true form. 

Huhana Lyndon Kaihautu Te Matārae Educational Trust says, "One of the most important aspects of this series is for our youth to gain a wider perspective and outlook of the business world. So I have seen and heard the strength and passion of our youth from here in the north for this type of work."

Each member of the group was delegated titles and roles to understand the importance of leadership and teamwork. 

Lyndon also says, "One of the main things is for our youth to retain what is taught throughout the series and the skills acquired that apply to the business world. The world has evolved and very different now. We are seeing more land claims being processed and being returned, the return of assets and forests also. We need more Māori representation at those vital discussions within different companies."

Today they pitch their product to a panel of Māori leaders from Te Taitokerau.

Natania Katene Kaikōkiri Rangatahi, Young Enterprise Trust says, "They will be judging them on their idea, the strategy on their product, does it make money. They will be judging them also on can this actually happens, is it practical."

And their efforts will not go unnoticed. 

Katene also says, "We do have one team that will go away with first prize however ultimately what we are wanting to gain is the importance of a rangatahi voice in the community and their ideas."

The He Kai Kei Aku Ringa Business challenge series has already been to Rotorua. Now they plan to work with rangatahi in Waikato and Whakatane in August, finishing in Manawatu, September.