Enterprising Waikato secondary school students will wing their way to Wellington in December after coming up trumps at the Waikato-King Country Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme Annual Awards.
Survive Out of School (SOS), of Waikato Diocesan School for Girls, took home top honours as Waikato-King Country Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Wintec Company of the Year.
The business, which developed a smartphone app for students leaving home and school, also took home Waikato Business News Sales and Marketing Award. Smart Waikato YES Waikato-King Country co-ordinator Levinia Paku said SOS worked consistently well throughout the year, building a good business around a useful product.
“The app includes lots of life-hacks and essential information for young people leaving home, helping them to develop independent and healthy lifestyles. They performed well in YES assessments and have networked with the right people, with assistance from their excellent mentor Seamus McCrosby (Kiwi Innovation Network),” Levinia said.
YES involves students setting up and running a real business, creating, promoting and selling a product or service, conducting market research, planning, budgeting, taking and managing risk and turning problems into challenges.
A second Waikato Diocesan School young enterprise team, Tihi Hipi, was named Stafford Industries runner-up in the regional awards and their chief executive Chloe Saxton clinched the University of Waikato Award for Leadership. Tihi Hipi specialises in artisan sheep cheese products with unique flavours, including native kawakawa and manuka honey.
Fraser High School’s Be Somebody, specialising in vegan and organic skincare products, and St Paul’s Collegiate’s Crankworks, who developed a post-hole borer, have won YES National Excellence Awards and will join SOS at the national awards on December 6. The national awards remain top secret until the event.
“These awards are a reflection of the very talented young entrepreneurs we have here in Waikato.
“These teams are not only thinking outside the square to develop unique products, they are working hard to fulfil the requirements of running a successful business,” Levinia said.
Other Waikato King Country 2016 YES Awards winners are:
Staples Rodway Financial Award – Kiwicrosse (St Peter’s School of Cambridge)
Smart Waikato chief executive Mary Jensen said she is thrilled with the calibre of entries this year.
“All students can be extremely proud of what they have achieved this year. Young enterprise in our region is alive and kicking,” Mary said.