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Programme launched to help young Pacific entrepreneurs Hatch

Innovative programme launched to help young Pacific entrepreneurs Hatch

The Hatch Youth Programme officially launched on Friday 15 December at Lei Café, Ponsonby. Developed and delivered by the Pacific Business Trust (PBT) in partnership with Massey University, Hatch provides a combination of flexible tertiary education with real-world experience. The programme targets Pacific youth aged 16-26 with entrepreneurial aspirations and starts in early 2018.

Lei Cafe was abuzz with innovation and excitement as six young, dynamic Pacific business teams participating in the inaugural Hatch Youth Programme were introduced.

Hatch is designed to support young entrepreneurs with developing their existing ideas and/or businesses. It also develops entrepreneurial skills of each participant alongside it.

Hatch signals a turning point in how PBT works with communities, as the three-year programme gives those who take part access to tertiary education as well as practical, real-world experience.

“One of the first things we recognised was the need to provide an opportunity for our young people to elevate themselves,” says Kim Tuaine, CEO of the Pacific Business Trust.

PBT saw a gap for Pacific youth entrepreneurial development, designing Hatch to address it and finding the best people to engage with.

This led the Trust into partnership with Massey University and a range of collaborations, including many of New Zealand’s best business leaders.

Of the six-team cohort, there are three businesses and three social enterprises. Meraki offers Pasifika workshops, while Gift One (GO) is a branding/social enterprise to support New Zealand companies in developing their social responsibility strategy and Mau Studios is a social design practice.

Olelei is a business looking to create dairy-free alternatives to food products, jewellery makers Sepora + Lia are Christchurch-based, and Recoveroom is making sports-based recovery lounges accessible for everyday people.

Garth Alofa, 20, CEO of Recoveroom and co-founder Strarn Warren, 22, were excited to meet with the people making Hatch possible.

Garth hopes Hatch will enable him and his team to link up with useful contacts to expand their idea of recovery rooms for the everyday sports player not just top tier athletes.

“We want to commercialise recovery,” says the former up-and-coming bodybuilder whose sporting career was thwarted by an injury’s long healing process, “but we need the education to do so.”

In order to expand they must learn the ins and outs of a business, which is one of the many perks of Hatch.

A perk which founder and CEO of Gift One (GO) Ana Saulala (26) is particularly interested in.

“My knowledge of the business world is still at a surface level,” says the young entrepreneur.

Through Hatch, Ana intends to make the connections necessary to build her social enterprise brand GO in order to work with corporate businesses to address their corporate social responsibilities (CSR).

Hatch is built around creating such opportunities, says Kim Tuaine.

“It’s about creating access and confidence for our young people, helping them develop the skills to execute a strong business model and take it anywhere they might want to.”

Jackie Young, Massey University’s e-centre CEO, adds that it’s not a zero-sum game.

“It’s about making winners and creating value for everyone,” she says.

“Massey has a focus on developing skills for the 21st century and Hatch is precisely aligned with that. Entrepreneurship is an essential 21st century skill and you’ve got to be flexible, resilient and creative.”

Jackie hopes extending Massey University’s community and networks to the team will help optimise their chances for success.

“Start-ups are a high risk-undertaking, so we want to work with them to minimise the risk and make sure they’re as well positioned as possible to succeed.”

Fa'amatuainu Tino Pereira, Chairman of the Pacific Business Trust, describes the Hatch initiative as “one of the turning points for PBT in achieving an echoing platform that will sustain our communities.”

“It’s about young people and the future success this opportunity provides them with,” he says.

“Hatch is a programme that New Zealand will hear about.”


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