• Patrick McBride

High schools pitch bright ideas to local business leaders

Nine West Coast high school teams put their business plans to the test today as part of the annual Young Enterprise Challenge, hosted at Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s (TPP’s) Greymouth campus.

Teams from Greymouth and Buller high schools pitched their business plans to a panel of local business leaders for The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Mid-year Pitch.

Business ideas included: homemade soy-based candles, which were popular at the TPP-hosted Greymouth Market late last year; Banana Fruit bath bombs for relaxation and for the relief of sports-related aches and pains; Campbell and Rees beeswax lipbalm, a natural non-petroleum-based lip care product; Curiosity Cubed, a science experiment box targeted at schools, home-school families and gift-givers; Re-Think and iCan wooden key chains with positive messaging for mental health and wellbeing; Eco Bagz reusable cloth sandwich bags;

West Coast Pest Control, selling humane instant-kill traps and advice to contribute to the goal of making New Zealand predator-free by 2050; and AromaFix, a natural pain relief product pitched as an alternative to pharmaceutical painkillers.

The YES Mid-year Pitch is one of five challenges held throughout the year that contribute to team’s overall results in the business challenge programme – a year-long opportunity for senior secondary students to unleash their inner entrepreneur and experience the start-up world first-hand.

Head of YES Elizabeth Pittman says the idea is to put students in an authentic real-world scenario to help them develop skills such as business, teamwork, communication, and public speaking.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have nine West Coast school teams taking part in this year’s scheme. It’s also fantastic to have the support of local business to act as judges and mentors, offering students invaluable feedback on their business concepts and plans.”

“Today’s event, hosted by TPP, revealed some great entrepreneurial talent and the students are doing really well in the year-long competition.”

Pitch judges, from Development West Coast and TPP, said they were impressed with the effort and ingenuity of the student business concepts.

TPP Leader – Engagement Mequa Hourston says today’s event was a great learning opportunity, that was also good fun for everyone involved.

“The students had some brilliant ideas and they pitched them well. TPP is pleased to partner with YES to deliver this opportunity to West Coast schools and give support and feedback to local students.”



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