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New, interactive game series teaches skills


New, interactive game series teaches skills required for running a business in 2020

Auckland, 26 July 2018 - The Ministry of Social Development, Joy Business Academy (JBA), Xero and BNZ today announced the launch of The Tycoon Game series, which consists of Restaurant Tycoon and Tech Tycoon.

Both games provide an interactive experience allowing players to immerse themselves in creating and operating their own business in a virtual world. It challenges players to use what the World Economic Forum has identified as the 10 essential skills for future employment - serving as both an entertaining and educational tool.

Business skills which have been added to the 2020 list (from 2015) include emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility. Additionally, critical thinking and creativity have been bumped higher up, acknowledging the essential role they play in business.

Minister for Social Development, Hon. Carmel Sepuloni says the game reinforces the evolution in skills required to start and manage your own business but also educates them about Ministry’s employment related products in a fun and engaging way.

“Every year SME’s are constrained through a combination of external pressures, lack of business experience and commercial acumen. Recruitment, training and retention of good employees is cited as one of the most challenging aspects of businesses for this group and where MSD showcases talent and the considerable assistance that can be offered when employing our clients.” says Minister for Social Development, Hon. Carmel Sepuloni.

Joy Business Academy, the developers behind the game, believe this game serves as the perfect platform to support small business education, as the act of ‘doing’ delivers the best learning outcome.

“The philosophy of the Tycoon Game series is to deliver the very best learning outcomes to the player of the game. By immersing the player in operating their own business in the virtual world, it is our hope that they will learn the necessary skills and understand how they can work with different partners or business advisors which can then be translated into operating their own SME business in the real world”, says James Coddington, CEO at JBA.

As players go through the games they earn badges by achieving certain milestones determined by how they play the game. One example of this is the badges earned by using the Xero platform within the game. This can be anything from paying supplier invoices or staff wages, to reconciling bank feeds.

Craig Hudson, Managing Director at Xero New Zealand says Xero’s support of the Tycoon Series is twofold.

“In the first instance, we are passionate about the success of small businesses and want to do all we can to support the sector that serves as the engine room for the Kiwi economy. Secondly, we know that as technology advances and job roles evolve, there will be a change in the skills required in the future. The Tycoon Series tackles the challenges associated with this change head on, addressing financial literacy and business evolution skills as players progress through the game. It’s a good reminder that regardless of whether you’re at high school or uni, or running your own business - investing in education, upskilling and training should always be a focus.

Anything that combines these two things, with the aim of ultimately building a stronger NZ Inc., is something we can get behind.”

For Shelley Ruha, Chief Customer Officer - BNZ Partners, “the Tycoon Game series creates a unique environment where ambitious people can practice the art of entrepreneurship, make mistakes and learn from them. It gives entrepreneurs and small business owners a valuable tool they can use to understand how to build their own partner ecosystems and learn the skills necessary to run a successful business. In the real world, that will help them make smarter decisions and reach their goals faster.”

For more information or to try your hand at one of the Tycoon Series games visit: www.tycoongames.org

-ENDS-

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