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Villa Maria team’s healthy crackers win Young Enterprise

Too Good Foods proved too good for the competition last night, taking out the supreme award in the Canterbury Region Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) held at Ara. The Villa Maria College team wowed judges with their business idea, market research, production, innovation and the pitch itself.

Too Good’s Maddison Barrett, Kate Beentjes, Isabella Brunel, Amelia King, Jessica Smith and Simone Turner worked together during the year-long programme to develop their product, a healthy cracker. Starting with just a $5 each and made a $250 profit so far. They manufactured the crackers, developed marketing and social media, created finance plans, sold the product through markets and were approved by Foodstuffs to sell through supermarkets. The budding business, which plans to expand into more supermarkets, won - $300 cash, an Ara Institute of Canterbury Scholarship, certificates and a trophy.

The YES programme develops entrepreneurial business skills along with personal development, confidence, leadership and real world work experience.

Runners up were The Gro•Up Group from Cashmere High School, who developed a social enterprise scheme that helps primary school children to learn about sustainability through virtual and augmented realities, growing native trees and planting them in a designated forest. Team members Max Benter-Lynch, Jack Fraser, Anzac Gallate and Kane McGrath also took out the Ara Innovation award.

The judges - Steve Brooks, Founder of Dream Believe Succeed, Milly Goodwin, Consultant at Ernst & Young Ltd, and Ross James, Dean of University of Canterbury Business School – asked the tough questions after each of the seven teams made their five minute pitch in front of a large audience of friends, family, sponsors and supporters of the scheme. While some there was evidence of some nerves on the night, the standard of presentation was consistently high.

The teams had triumphed over 104 teams in Canterbury to reach the finals. As Canterbury was one of the biggest regions for the event nationally, the winning and runner up teams will both go to the national final in Wellington. The winners are also invited to submit an entry for the YES Singapore Trip this coming January, one of the many opportunities of a lifetime that YES provides for the countries’ top young entrepreneurs.

Ara coordinated the Canterbury event, enlisting the help of mentors, teacher leads in schools and sponsors ANZ, UC Business, XCHC, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CCANZ), Dream Believe Succeed and Ernst & Young.

Canterbury Regional Winners: Too Good Foods from Villa Maria College

Runners up: The Gro•Up Group from Cashmere High School

Regional Excellence Award Winners 2018 awarded on the night:

• ANZ YES Regional Excellence Award for Finance

• XCHC YES Regional Excellence Award for Customer and Market Engagement 2018

• ARA YES Regional Excellence Award for Innovation

• UC YES Regional Excellence Award for Sustainability

• UC YES Regional Excellence Award for Social Enterprise

• ARA YES Regional Excellence Award for Enterprising Technology

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