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Empowering Upper Hutt youth to be entrepreneurs

Media release

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Future Dragons: empowering Upper Hutt youth to be entrepreneurs

Upper Hutt City Council’s Community Services team is launching a new and improved Future Dragons programme for young people aged 15 – 24 years. It aims to identify youth entrepreneurial traits, and encourage their abilities, whilst teaching them the knowledge and skills required to establish a new venture.

UPPER HUTT, Wellington NZ, 15 FEB 2012—Upper Hutt young people are being invited to participate in a new and improved Future Dragons programme run by the Community Services team at Upper Hutt City Council. The aim of the programme is to engage young people aged 15 – 24 in creative workshops, teaching them the basics of entrepreneurship, innovation, and business planning.

“We tried to run a similar programme in 2009 but it was too time intensive for the young people involved. We learnt that they are interested in the basics of entrepreneurship, creative brainstorming, and want to know how to get the ball rolling, but perhaps wrapped up in a shorter timeframe,” says Frances McEwen, Community Development Advisor at Upper Hutt City Council. “We know after reviewing results from the Inzone careers kiosk situated at the Upper Hutt Central Library, that the most popular sectors investigated were entrepreneurship and health, so it seems fitting to revamp and promote Future Dragons in 2012.”

The new model for Future Dragons will include workshops for groups of 8 – 10 young people. A form to register interest is available online at www.uhyouth.com and keen attendees can select what days and times would best suit them to attend. Having the workshops outside of school hours means anyone can attend, including those young people who may work or go to school outside of Upper Hutt. The programme has been designed specifically for youth, based around business development and marketing, but ultimately engaging youth in innovative thinking. It offers a unique opportunity, which will empower youth to develop their creative and entrepreneurial skills. The workshops are free and will involve subjects such as new product development, innovation, marketing, and feasibility.

Clever promotion for the programme has been developed by Upper Hutt young people themselves who are walking the talk. Oosh Multimedia, set up by 19 year-old Graeme Knowles, has developed a five minute promotional video encouraging young people to register for Future Dragons. The humorous video has been uploaded to www.uhyouth.com and is being promoted through the new Upper Hutt Youth Facebook page and through the local colleges. “These guys are super talented and have taken something they loved doing at school and created a business out of it. They were happy to do the video as they believe they would have benefitted from Future Dragons when they were at school. They are also keen to attend the workshops and learn more about marketing and growing their business” says Ms McEwen.

Future Dragons is a great place to start if you are a young person interested in starting your own business, finding out more about entrepreneurship or think that one day you would like to be your own boss. Visit www.uhyouth.com to find out more, watch the promotional video or register.

For more information on Future Dragons please contact Frances McEwen on (04) 527 2798 or email frances.mcewen@uhcc.govt.nz

About Upper Hutt City Council

Upper Hutt City Council is the steward and custodian of Upper Hutt City, providing governance, infrastructure, and community services and resources, and promoting opportunity in the city for business, recreation, lifestyle, and leisure. Upper Hutt City is located 30 km north-east of Wellington City (41°07'34" S, 175°04'06" E) and boasts 70% of the region’s parks and reserves, along with state-of-the-art entertainment and leisure facilities.


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