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$2.2 Million To Grow New Zealand Entrepreneurs

11am Wednesday 7 August 2002

$2.2 Million To Grow New Zealand Entrepreneurs

Thirteen projects aimed at providing New Zealanders with the skills needed for entrepreneurial success, are to receive $2.2 million from Industry New Zealand’s Enterprise Culture and Skills Activities Fund.

“A diverse range of projects are receiving funding, from a new financial academy on the West Coast, and a national education programme which uses the America’s Cup as a theme for learning, to a pilot programme which teaches Auckland inventors how to commercialise their ideas,” says Industry New Zealand CEO Neil Mackay.

“To ensure we have a bright economic future, we need people with the ability to generate new types of income for our country. We can’t keep relying on traditional exports to sustain us in a global economy. Our key exports must be the knowledge and skills of our people in business.

“To reach our economic goals we need to firstly, encourage and develop a business culture which is enterprising, and secondly, teach people how to make money from being entrepreneurial. These projects will help to achieve both objectives in a fun and stimulating educational environment,” says Mr Mackay.

The Enterprise Skills and Activities Fund was set up by Industry New Zealand to help develop a culture in this country that encourages positive attitudes and skills for entrepreneurship, business growth, and business success.

“The Fund can’t make entrepreneurs - but it can play a major role in helping people develop the skills necessary for business success. Projects such as the Biotechnology Roadshow, which brings students, teachers and businesses together to facilitate innovation, will lead to better skills in this area of high growth potential in New Zealand,” says Mr Mackay.

The $2.2 million awarded is a result of the Enterprise Culture and Skills Activities Fund’s second round of funding. The first round of funding was in May when ten projects received a total of $1.7 million.

Neil Mackay says the Enterprise Culture and Skills Activities Fund is contributing to the promotion of “can-do’ attitudes towards entrepreneurship.

“One of the projects from the first funding round in May resulted in a group of 13 and 14 year old Auckland girls being awarded second place in an international competition on Virtual Corporations. They beat over 2000 other students from around the world. The judges were very impressed with their creative ideas for solving business problems. Industry New Zealand’s support enabled the girls to travel to the USA to compete and, when they returned home, share what they learnt with other students,” says Mr Mackay.

The 13 projects to receive funding in the second round are:

- Cup Mania (National)

A national programme for year 6-10 students which will integrate Information Communications Technology tools within the context of an America’s Cup syndicate challenge. Teams will have to find a sponsor, create a syndicate brand, bid on-line for their syndicate base, design a boat, select a crew and purchase on-course data.

- Rangatahi Business Programme (Waikato)

A business entrepreneurship programme developed for young Maori at Te Wharekura O Rakaumanga school in Huntly. The project includes the development of a mentoring programme and video promoting Maori entrepreneurship.

- Financial Academy for Youth (West Coast)

The Academy will focus on business opportunities for the West Coast, and include topics such as real estate, stock market, investment traps and opportunities, sales skills, marketing, finance and accounting. The Academy will also establish three financial education clubs on the West Coast and provide in-school programmes and business training camps.

- National Women in Business Week 2003 (National)

National Women in Business Week in the first week of March 2003 will provide an opportunity for women in business to attend a range of workshops, seminars, expos and conferences. Events nationwide will focus on forging relationships and the areas of business skills and knowledge development.

- Culture of Success Roadshow (National)

A nationwide roadshow for primary/intermediate students. The roadshow will showcase New Zealand business role models and help develop goal setting skills, innovation development logic and positive attitudes towards business.

- An Income of Their Own - Ko o Ratou Putea Anake (Wellington)

A business and enterprise skills programme aimed at Year 10 students, largely of Maori and Pacific Island descent, living in the Wellington region. The programme will provide new ideas, local role models with their own successful businesses, information and resources to the students to open up the options for their future to include being an entrepreneur.

- Innovation Hub (Taranaki)

An on-line virtual business community for year 9-13 students in the Taranaki region. Local schools will be able to talk with each other and develop relationships with businesses and innovators.

- Building Skills in Inventors (Auckland)

A pilot programme designed to take Auckland-based inventors through the process of assessing and commercialising their ideas. Some resources developed for the course will be available to inventors throughout New Zealand help them to progress their ideas to viable businesses.

- Business Focused Education (Bay of Plenty)

A wide range of businesses will work with regional schools to help students identify and develop enterprise opportunities. The programme will be aimed at students who are in danger of being “lost’ socially, educationally and economically.

- The Wahia Ngarua Project (Waikato)

An entrepreneurship and motivational business programme aimed at teenagers from Ngaruawahia and surrounding local communities. The project will include the appointment of a co-ordinator to establish an integrated and motivational programme which will include seminars, workshops, work experience and a careers fair.

- Biotechnology Innovation Project (Auckland)

New, flexible learning processes and resources will be developed to facilitate innovation and commercialisation in biosciences and biotechnologies. The programme will feature strong industry participation and include training for secondary school teachers, internships for tertiary students at local biotechnology companies and a roadshow touring Auckland high schools to provide innovative and interactive learning experiences to students.

- The “Innovator’ Project (Southland)

An enterprise co-ordinator will visit Southland schools on a regular basis to teach and inspire students and train teachers in imaginative enterprise and innovation activities and attitudes, and problem solving.

- Artist Representation and Motivational Services - ARMS (National)


A programme to cultivate an entrepreneurial attitude amongst the broader arts, culture and creative sector. The programme will include a roadshow, web-site, workshops and individual coaching. The aim is to enable artists and students to learn the skills necessary to market their work and become profitable creative businesses.

Neil Mackay congratulated the award recipients and said full reports on the results of the activities would be compiled and evaluated by Industry New Zealand.

Independent experts on the assessment panel were:

- Dame Georgina Kirby (Maori Development Inc)

- Ali Boswijk (CEO Arts Marketing in Nelson)

- John Cunningham (CEO Caltech Capital Partners)

- Graeme Marshall (Ministry of Education)

- Neville Jordan (CEO Protemix)

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

Projects to be funded in the first round of the Enterprise Culture and Skills Activities Fund were announced by the Minister of Economic Development, Jim Anderton, in May 2002.


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