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Sowing the seeds of Pasifika business

Sowing the seeds of Pasifika business

Next week, 36 Year 12 and 13 Pasifika business entrepreneurs will strive to impress a panel of judges to claim $28,000 of prizes and tertiary study scholarships.

The inaugural Plantation Business Challenge 2005 will pit nine teams from seven Counties Manukau schools against each other in a four-day business competition starting on Monday September 26. The event highlight will be the Challenge final on Friday September 30.

Teams of four students will create and present business projects to judges who will assess them against a set of real-world criteria, such as competitive advantage and financial planning.

Event hosts Pacific Business Trust (PBT), AUT University and Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) the will coach students through a series of workshops as they create and develop their concepts. Pasifika business leaders and senior lecturers will advise on marketing, research, finance, HR and contingency planning.

The aim is to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of Pasifika students in South Auckland by enabling them to develop business ideas.

PBT chief executive Paul Muller says they are committed to the Challenge and supporting young Pasifika business students thrive in education.

“The project aligns with our mission to grow and develop sustainable Pacific businesses, and we are keen to connect with more of our young people.”

The Plantation Business Challenge will award the two winning teams with an $8,000 scholarships and $2,000 to an outstanding individual.

AUT Pasifika liaison Ronji Tanielu from AUT University says this event is about assisting Pasifika students to harness the power of education.

“It’s about opening the door for them to discover the educational pathways available to them,” he says.

MIT will present scholarships valued between $1,000 and $3,500 for study at MIT.

Pasifika liaison at MIT, Terri Leo-Mauu, says the underpinning idea for the Challenge has been to grow tomorrow’s pacific business leaders today.

“This is a unique opportunity for senior high school students to take a business idea and develop it under the guidance of skilled professionals and educators,” she says.

Schools competing in the Plantation Business Challenge are:

- Aorere College

- Auckland Seventh Day Adventist College

- De La Salle College – two teams

- Edgewater College

- Mangere College – two teams

- Sir Edmund Hilary Collegiate

- Tangaroa College


The students will attend workshops as follows:
MIT - Monday September 26
AUT University - Tuesday September 27
Pacific Business Trust - Wednesday September 28

Manukau City Council is the main event sponsor. Other Challenge stakeholders are Pacific Business Trust, Manukau Institute of Technology and AUT University.

ENDS

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