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37,000 great reasons for Pasifika business

25 September 2006

37,000 great reasons for Pasifika business enterprise

With $37,000 worth of tertiary scholarships up for grabs, Counties Manukau's top Pasifika students are preparing to showcase their entrepreneurial endeavour at a business enterprise showdown.

This Friday, nine teams of Year 12 and 13 Pasifika entrepreneurs from seven schools will strut their business stuff at the Plantation Business Challenge 2006.

Now in its second year, the competition is a platform for high school students to create a product or service and develop a business plan around it.

Throughout the five-day challenge, teams are mentored by Pasifika business leaders, senior lecturers and AUT's Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE AUT) business students, who advise on marketing, research, finance, HR and contingency planning.

On the final day, the groups will present their business plans to a panel of judges where projects are assessed against real-world criteria, such as marketability, research, product differentiation and financial viability.

AUT is contributing a scholarship worth up to $15,000 to study business at the university.

AUT Pasifika liaison Ronji Tanielu says the success of the inaugural Plantation Business Challenge means not only business people are taking notice of young Pasifika entrepreneurs.

"Last year's winners were contacted by a major New Zealand media conglomerate with regard to making their project a reality," he says.

"This Challenge is more than a school competition. It's about providing young Pacific people who are interested in business, entrepreneurship and achievement with the professional business mentoring, academic support and financial assistance they deserve to achieve their ambitions."

The Plantation Business Challenge starts on Monday, September 25 and finishes on Friday, September 29. Hosts include the Pacific Business Trust (PBT), AUT University and Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT).

MIT is contributing scholarships totalling $10,000 for study at the institute.

Competing schools include: - Aorere College - Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate - James Cook High School - Mangere College - Manurewa High School - Papatoetoe High School - Tangaroa College

Manukau City Council is the main event sponsor and is contributing $12,000 to the event.

The students attend workshops as follows:
- MIT Monday, September
- AUT University Tuesday, September 26
- Pacific Business Trust Wednesday, September
- Manukau City Council Friday, September 29 – Final presentations


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