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Business stars in action

Two Senior School students showed off their business skills at the Young Enterprise Entrepreneur in Action weekend.

Grace Wynne and Amy Schwass represented Queen Margaret College at the event held at Massey University in early August.

Year 12 student Grace was put into team Fujitsu and Year 13 student Amy was part of team Asia New Zealand Foundation.

As part of the weekend the pair competed in two different challenges with their teams.

On Saturday the challenge was ‘to come up with a product that sources food products that others reject, and turn it into something the discerning buyer wants to purchase’.

Grace’s team created an app called “Refusing” which would remind consumers to eat their dating food. Amy’s team focused on vegetable stock unable to be sold commercially but could be used to make secondary product.

“Our app sent notifications to consumers warning them their food was about to become ‘ugly’, along with recipes including this food. It would also allow consumers and producers to connect directly to one another, allowing producers to sell goods that are too ugly for supermarkets and direct consumers to a reusing station where they could compost or recycle unwanted or undesirable food,” Grace explains.

“We were told by the judges that we had the best presentation out of all the teams and we won the photo challenge.”

On Sunday the teams developed a market entry strategy for a geothermal product suitable for Japanese markets.

Amy’s team’s solution was to get into the Japanese paper market.

“Our solution to this challenge was to source the NaCO3 that collects in the pipes of geothermal energy plants and use that as a paper filler. We would offer our knowledge and our services to the Japanese geothermal energy plants to extract the NaCO3 and then sell it off to the Japanese paper market,” Amy explains.

Both girls came away from the weekend with a $1000 scholarship to study business at Massey University and a better appreciation for the work that goes into running a business.

“Over the weekend I was able to learn an incredible amount about how to set up a business and how to launch a business into another country. I was able to network with many different young people from around the nation as well as with prominent New Zealand business people,” Grace says.

“This weekend was one of the best experiences that I’ve had at school so far. Although it was high pressure at times, it was an amazing weekend that I’ll never forget. I got to meet and become friends with people from all over the country. I learnt a lot of skills that I know will help me for a long time,” Amy adds.