Jacob plays his cards right


Jacob Chetwin. Photo: Deearn Strawbridge.

A Te Awamutu year 12 student who invented an educational card game has picked up the Te Pūkenga Company of the Year at the Waikato regional Young Enterprise Awards.

Jacob Chetwin, 17, attends Te Awamutu College.

The year-12 students game is designed to teach year 7 and 8 students about business concepts and financial literacy.

The strategic game consists of a 75-card deck and has been played by more than 700 students across the Waikato.

Jacob plans to continue developing and expanding his business, called Liquidation, into 2024.

He will compete at the Lion Foundation sponsored Young Enterprise National Awards in Wellington on December 4.

More than 250 Year 12 and 13 students participated in Young Enterprise Scheme   in 2023, setting up and operating their own businesses, creating, promoting, and selling a product or service, conducting market research, planning, budgeting, managing risk and turning problems into opportunities.

The annual event aims to provide young people with opportunities to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

Liquidation on the cards

By Jeremy Smith

He may have played his cards close to his chest, but his success has reached the national stage.

Te Awamutu College Year 12 student Jacob Chetwin’s company – Liquidation – is the Waikato Young Enterprise Scheme’s (YES) company of the year.

Jacob beat more than 60 companies – and 300 high school students – to the regional title.

He now heads to Wellington for the YES nationals in December, where he will take on 22 teams – and 5000 students – for overall national honours.

The YES scheme gives students opportunities to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and succeed in business, with the yearlong programme made up of four modules – or challenges – including a validation section where students’ ideas are born, the pitch module, work on promoting and selling their
idea and, finally, an annual review.

Jacob is the only Waikato representative heading to the capital, his regional win being even more special because where the YES scheme is usually undertaken in teams, Jacob completed all the challenges and presentations this year by himself.

“That’s something I’m really proud of,” he smiled.

Te Awamutu College’s Jacob Chetwin teaches The News a round of his card game Liquidation. Photo: Jeremy Smith

Liquidation is a card game designed to teach year 7 and 8 students business concepts and financial literacy.

Suitable for up to five players, participants collect and bank asset cards which help build their ‘company’s’ net worth.

In the deck, there are both positive and negative scenario cards, with players dealing negative scenario cards against other players and positive scenario cards for themselves as they seek to build up as many assets as possible over the course of the 10-minute game.

When the card deck is exhausted, players ‘liquidate’ their businesses and the player with the highest net worth wins.

Jacob came up with the idea in accounting class.

“I thought to myself, I really need to make some sort of resource which can be implemented before we even come to secondary school so that if we want to take on business or accounting classes, then the definitions, and the basics, are already in our heads.”

Jacob scribbled the initial idea for Liquidation on a piece of refill paper which he said he’s keeping.

Subsequent market research, he said, yielded some intriguing findings.

As he canvassed more than 200 year 7 and 8 students from five Waipā schools, he said 10 percent knew what an asset was, about five percent knew what the term liability meant.

Strikingly though, nearly 90 percent of students had plans to own their own business when they are older.

All 30 sets of Liquidation Jacob printed as part of the game’s first production run are in use, with 23 still in schools as far north as schools in Melville and as far south as Piopio.

Te Awamutu Intermediate School is among those who have the game.

Jacob and his sister even drew the artwork and illustrations which feature on the cards.

“It’s really important to me to actually create something of value that nobody else has – so few resources like this are out there,” he said.

“Some of the key feedback I’ve been getting is that students find the game really engaging because they feel as though they’re making real life decisions.”

Liquidation is not the only business Jacob has started before. In 2021 he founded Sweet Treats, an online mixed lolly business.

The game’s second production run will be done in time for the start of term one in February next year.

Looking further ahead beyond his final year of college next year, Jacob said he wants to work in the global corporate finance sector, and hopefully start a financial technology, or ‘fintech’, company.

Applauding future leaders

Waikato’s best young talent was celebrated last month at the annual Young Enterprise Awards at Wintec. Photos: Deearn Strawbridge

Martin Brock presented Jacob Chetwin with his certificate.

Results from the regional awards night:

Foster Construction’s Runner Up –  Reusaballs, Sacred Heart Girls College (Hamilton), Waikato Chamber of Commerce’s Excellence in Financial Management Award – UniquelyMe, Sacred Heart Girls College (Hamilton), EMA’s Excellence in Production Award – Down to Earth, Hamilton Boys High School,      Waikato Pacific Business Network’s Pasifika Enterprise Award – Doughnas, Sacred Heart Girls’ College (Hamilton),  Waikato Business News’ Excellence in Promotion and Marketing Award – Cheeky Chocolates, Fraser High School, CAL Isuzu’s Excellence in Innovation Award – Tyred Dogz, Hauraki Plains College, The University of Waikato’s Excellence in Leadership Award – Anna Hart, Hauraki Plains College, Excellence in Sales – Bubble No Trouble, Waikato Diocesan School for Girls, Best Trade Fair Presence – Reusaballs, Sacred Heart Girls College (Hamilton),    Excellence in Sustainability Award – Sprowt, St Peters Cambridge, Best Annual Review – Play Kāri, Waikato Diocesan School for Girls, Commitment to Business Award – Liquidation, Te Awamutu College.


About Author

Roy Pilott

Roy Pilott - the editorial director at Good Local Media - has worked in media in both New Zealand and the UK. He began his career at South Waikato News, worked for a football magazine and an east London tabloid, and later became the editor of the Waikato Times and Taranaki Daily News, and sub editor for the Sunday Star Times.