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Trip to Paris no picnic


September 5, 2006

Trip to Paris no picnic

The four SIFE presenters: back row: Laura Hablous, Dileepa Fonseka; front row: Jamie Frew, Tamie Shewry.


A team of Waikato University students is leaving for Paris on Friday to participate in an international business competition.

Waikato University is representing New Zealand at the Students in Free Enterprise world finals on 11-13 September, having won the national event earlier this year. Forty-six teams from different countries will be there.

The Waikato team has worked for more than a year on a series of successful business projects that support the community and teach the principles of free enterprise. They’ve been refining their presentation for the international audience and judging panel knowing that the competition will be intense.

“Each year the standard gets better and better - the standard and scope of the projects and the level of performance,” says fourth year law and management student Dileepa Fonseka, who’s represented Waikato at three world finals.

“Our projects have a Western focus,” says Dileepa. “Often SIFE students target Third World projects. We decided to move away from that and to take on projects that were specific to New Zealand.”

Projects included Turning Point - a values-based programme designed to curb youth offending and which is already on sale – and BizAbility, an online business advice service complemented by a workshop to improve the business success of people with disabilities.

In partnership with The Body Shop, the She Means Business project began with a networking evening for women in business, or who wanted to be, that introduced them to business advisers and established an online forum.

SIFE students also produced a DVD called The Potato Chip Theory aimed at giving Maori and Pacific Islanders financial management skills. Another DVD, partly funded by HSBC was developed for international students coming to New Zealand.


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