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High school students going wild about business

Media Release

West Coast high school students going wild about business

23 January 2004 – West Coast high school students will be selling their wares at the Wild Food Festival this year and setting up their own companies as part of a new course to help them learn about business.

Education to Business (E2B) aims to help West Coast students develop entrepreneurial attitudes and acquire business skills – in the hope they will carry on to contribute to the future economic success of the region and New Zealand.

The course is being run by the West Coast Development Trust and co-funded by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) from its Enterprise Culture and Skills Activities Fund.

“This will be a hands-on course,” says West Coast Development Trust Chief Executive Mike Trousellot. “It’ll be fun and it’ll show students that business can be fun too.”

As part of the course, students will develop their own “wild food” or a related product to sell at the Wild Food Festival in Hokitika on 13 March.

They will also set up companies and raise money to travel to Kaikoura, where they will visit Takahanga Marae and learn about two environmentally-friendly businesses, the Whale Watch eco-tourism venture and the Kaikoura Innovative Waste Programme.

Students will visit local businesses to see how they work and have the opportunity to learn from several successful West Coast entrepreneurs who will speak to and mentor students. This will be supplemented by board games and computer-based ‘virtual businesses’ to teach students about accounting, finance and investing and business operation.

The initial aim is to attract 90 students in 2004, with five schools already confirmed as participants – Karamea Area School, Karoro Learning Centre, Greymouth High School, South Westland Area School and Westland High School.

“The course is flexible so each school can develop it in ways that suit them,” says Mr Trousellot.
Initially it’s expected students will spend about four hours a week on E2B work, which will earn them National Certificate in Educational Achievement credits in business studies and other subjects.

NZTE’s Enterprise Culture and Skills Activities Fund aims to support the development of a culture of business and enterprise in New Zealand that encourages and celebrates business success. The fund is contestable and provides seed funding for projects that help develop entrepreneurial attitudes and skills among New Zealanders.

NZTE General Manager of Marketing Julian Moore says an enterprise culture is vital and will underpin New Zealand’s future economic success, with entrepreneurs and business success the key to lifting our living standards.

“E2B is an excellent example of a project that is helping develop the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. NZTE is delighted to be able to help its development by providing a grant from the Enterprise Culture and Skills Activities Fund.”

Mr Trousellot says as well as promoting business skills, the project is helping to bring teachers and students together from throughout the West Coast.

He says all high schools in the region have shown interest in the project and there’s still time for others to join the five that are already taking part.

“E2B is a significant new initiative and we’re keen to make it available to as many students as possible.”

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