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Anderton: Global enterprise challenge begins

Fri, 1 Oct 2004

Global enterprise challenge begins

Jim Anderton opens the regional competition for the high school global enterprise challenge

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It's exciting to be here at the start of the New Zealand regional competition for the Global Enterprise challenge.

Shortly I'm going to read out the challenge for this year.

It will demand a thoughtful way for you to harness the potential of the region you live in and to unleash your entrepreneurial skills.

This is exciting because entrepreneurship is vital to New Zealand's future.

It's exciting because we are the best country in the world for young entrepreneurial talent.

It's exciting because it's a chance to strut your creative and innovative talents.

The winner of this challenge is going to compete for New Zealand against the world.

The stakes are high.

We have competed at two previous global enterprise competitions.

New Zealand won them both.

In fact, in 2002 when a team from New Plymouth won the competition there were no individual gold medals awarded.

They received only one medal between the whole team.

I felt that was unfair so I took up the cause.

I approached the sponsor of the Enterprise Olympics, the World Intellectual Property Office.

I pointed the winners couldn't view their shared medal, nor show it to friends and families.

The World Intellectual Property Office agreed.

So I was able to send the winning students their medals.

We can take a lot of confidence from our previous successes.

The abilities of New Zealanders are as good as those of anyone in the world.

I don't know whether we will be able to win this year's global competition, but I do know we'll give it a good shot.

I know the team from New Zealand - to be chosen today - will be very good.

I know they'll be creative and innovative.

New Zealanders seem to have an unusual talent for being creative.

It's because we are a small country a long way from the rest of the world.

We are used to having to think for ourselves.

We're used to having the freedom to try things out.

So young New Zealanders are lateral, creative thinkers.

This is great for New Zealand because it positions us well in the changing world economy.

The most valuable businesses in the world are becoming those which rely on creativity.

Creative businesses create the wealth we need for everything we do in the community.

Our health care, our education, our security, our leisure activities are all made possible by our industry.

The better we are at creating wealth, the more we have to enjoy.

I want every young person growing up in New Zealand to have a future here.

I want everyone to enjoy a job, an income, a lifestyle and opportunities as promising and secure as those enjoyed by young people anywhere in the world.

It will only be delivered by creative and successful New Zealand businesses.

One of the best things about my job is the opportunity to see examples of success and creativity at close hand.

A couple of weeks ago I congratulated Seeby Woodhouse.

He is the 28-year-old director of Orcon Internet Ltd, and he won this year's Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Orcon was set up by Seeby when he was a university student.

It is now the fourth largest New Zealand-owned internet service provider.

It employs over 30 staff.

Back in June, I inducted Seeby, along with four other young entrepreneurs, into the Enterprise New Zealand Trust's Hall of Talent.

They were all graduates of the Young Enterprise Scheme.

We can create a culture of enterprise if we can learn from the examples of entrepreneurs like Seeby - and many other talented young entrepreneurs.

We need a culture that encourages business creativity and success.

New Zealanders are not much into public displays of affluence and we don't like show-offs.

But these are not the same as success.

Real success stems from the creativity and flair of individuals.

If there is one thing we should aim for New Zealand to be known by, it is the unique talents of New Zealanders.

That would be my definition of success.

We need to develop attitudes and create an environment that celebrates and supports entrepreneurship.

People who dare to dream and then take steps to fulfill a great ambition.

Entrepreneurship is about encouraging creativity and new ways of looking at things.

Today you will put your talents to the test.

You will learn something about how to apply them.

You'll have to work in collaboration to be successful.

You'll have to learn how to harness good ideas.

New Zealand needs more internationally-minded businesses, able to capture opportunities in the global marketplace.

We need more companies who create and sell high-value goods the world doesn't even know it needs yet.

We need entrepreneurs to drive these businesses.

Today is about creating those entrepreneurs.

So your job is very important.

It certainly doesn't end here, but it carries on with you.

I hope, regardless of how you place today, you will take the skills you are learning to harness into entrepreneurial activities of your own.

So I congratulate you all on taking part.

If there was one empowering message I could give every young person, it is that everyone can fulfil their own potential.

Only you can do what you do.

Only you can make the contribution you make.

Your contribution is unique.

It's not about what school you went to, or what advantages you start out with.

It is about what you want to be.

It is about making the most of your individual talents and being all that you can be.

If there is one challenge I have for you, it is the challenge to dream.

I challenge you to hope and to dream about your future and about New Zealand.

But I also have to give you the formal challenge you are to work on today.

There are several components, requiring you to consider the strengths and needs of you own region and the capabilities you can apply.

Your challenge is: "To provide working drawings, a model, or a plan of an innovative good or service to draw on the resources available in your community to advance the development of your region"

I wish you luck in going to work and I look forward to seeing the results.

ENDS


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