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Students sign up to solve business problem for charity

2 August 2012

Students sign up to solve business problem for charity

144 Kiwi teams have so far signed up for The CPA Big Break Project, a trans-Tasman competition for undergraduate students which aims to solve a real-world business problem facing the not-for-profit organisation Make-A-Wish®.

The competition, organised by global accounting body CPA Australia, is being run for the first time in New Zealand this year. Winning students will share over $AUD100,000 in cash and prizes for themselves and their tertiary institution.

In the first round, teams will be asked to review Make-A-Wish® in New Zealand and Australia using a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and submit their entry by Wednesday 22 August, 2012. Winners will receive an Apple iPad, a $1000 clothing voucher and entry to the final round.

In the final round, the best team from New Zealand will be flown to Melbourne to present their entry to a judging panel. The overall winner will be announced at a gala dinner in Melbourne on 3 October and will receive $AUD20,000 in cash and a CPA Program Scholarship for each team member. The winning team’s tertiary institution will receive $AUD50,000 to enhance the educational outcomes for their students.

CPA Australia’s country manager for New Zealand, David Jenkins, says he is delighted with the number of New Zealand entries so far: “The CPA Big Break Project is an outstanding opportunity for New Zealand undergraduates to put their skills to the test in a real-life business situation against the best from Australia.

“Opportunities for students, especially undergrads, to help a not-for-profit address a real business challenge are rare. The CPA Big Break Project exposes them to the real world of business and, ultimately, rewards those who come up with the best solutions for an extremely worthy cause in Make-A-Wish®. For the winners, it’s a great kick-start to their careers.”

Carolyn MacDonell, CEO of Make-A-Wish® New Zealand, says: “To have the support of CPA Australia and The CPA Big Break Project is truly amazing. As an organisation that relies solely on donations of time, services and financial gifts to deliver on our mission, we can’t wait to see what our best and brightest students come up with to help us continue making wishes come true for sick Kiwi kids.”

Key dates:
22 August – round one entries due
24 August – round one finalists announced
31 August – round one judging and winners announced
3 September – round two question released
28 September – round two entries due
3 October – round two judging, gala dinner and overall winner announced in Melbourne

To register to enter, or find out more about The CPA Big Break Project, please visit


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