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Changing Enterprise Attitudes Starts @ Grass-Roots

20 May 2002
Changing Attitudes To Enterprise Starts At Grass-Roots

Encouraging young people to have a positive attitude toward business success is an important part of building a culture which positively supports entrepreneurial activity and business growth, says Neil Mackay, CEO of Industry New Zealand.

Ten projects throughout the country that encourage secondary and tertiary aged students, and school leavers, to become more entrepreneurial are to receive $1.7million in funding from Industry New Zealand’s Enterprise Culture and Skills Activities Fund.

The contestable Fund is one of a coordinated series of projects from Industry New Zealand and a range of private sector partners. It aims to develop enterprising skills across the community, including students, employers, employees and groups in the community.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship are essential for our future economic prosperity. New Zealand needs to earn more money to sustain and improve our society – we need new businesses and new approaches to do this.

“The Fund is part of Industry New Zealand’s Enterprise Culture programme, which is one of our cornerstone initiatives, says Mr Mackay. “It’s about encouraging a new generation of thinkers to have good ideas and giving them the confidence and skills to turn these ideas into commercial success. As Olympic medallist Paul MacDonald says – ‘successful people aren’t special, they’re just ordinary people like you and me who have a dream’. “

The ten projects to receive funding from the Enterprise Culture and Skills Activities Fund are:

- Role-playing for Success - two sets of curriculum-linked role-playing modules that introduce the concept of entrepreneurial behaviour and business skills to secondary students.
- Teengirls in Technology – an educational programme, to be piloted in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, designed to increase the profile of technology-based business careers.
- Community Improvement through Youth – a six-month scheme that promotes the development of enterprise skills, involving implementation of community projects, amongst high school students and recent school leavers who are unemployed, in Hawke’s Bay.
- The Influence of Young Enterprise – a research project that will help determine whether entrepreneurs can be identified at an early age, and to collate and celebrate success stories from past students.
- Business High School – establishment of an international and entrepreneurial business curriculum course for high school students based in South Auckland.
- Student Technological Innovation Incubation – the development of school resource packages that focus on technology-based innovation, for use in schools through out New Zealand.
- PartnersNZ – to expand and strengthen a programme helping businesses achieve innovative solutions by accessing the talents of young people in their communities.
- Young Entrepreneur Programme that trains school leavers and unemployed in Northland how to become enterprising and successful self-employed business owners.
- Interactive Web Business Game - to be developed in Canterbury for high school students throughout the country.
- Funding will also be given to enable an Auckland group of gifted teenagers to represent New Zealand at the International Future Problem Solving Finals in the USA.

Independent experts on the assessment panel included:
- Dame Georgina Kirby (Maori Women’s Development Inc),
- Ali Boscwijk (CEO Arts Marketing in Nelson)
- John Cunningham (CEO Caltech Capital Partners)
- Graeme Marshall (Ministry of Education)
- Neville Jordan (businessman)

The Industry New Zealand’s Enterprise Culture and Skills Activities Fund is administered by The Royal Society of New Zealand.

The second round of Enterprise Culture and Skills Activities funding closed on May 10th 2002. Successful applicants of the second funding round will be announced at a later date when the selection process has been completed. Thereafter, there will be one funding round per year.

Ends/…

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