Bayfield team finalists in YES competition

A school business importing and powdering berries from Iran has both made a profit, and sent its founders to the national final of this year's Young Enterprise Scheme championship.

Abalro from Bayfield High School, created a firm to import dried barberries and turn them into a powdered health product.

"We import it from Iran. We came across it after I found out about the research done on it. Because it wasn't sold in the New Zealand market, we'd be the first once we got involved," Abalro team member Alex Livingstone said.

The Bayfield team have already made a $2000 profit on their sales this year and have become accomplished at pitching their business scheme along the way.

"It's [a] pretty nervous [activity] for us because we're year 12 and this is our first year in the Young Enterprise Scheme, so this is our first time running a business ... it was pretty exciting getting to pitch for the first time and I think by the second time we got pretty used to it," Abalro team member Abby Green said.

Bayfield High School Young Enterprise Scheme team Abalro (from left, Abby Green, Robert Donohoe,...
Bayfield High School Young Enterprise Scheme team Abalro (from left, Abby Green, Robert Donohoe, Alex Livingstone). PHOTO: ODT VIDEO

Running a close second to Abalro was honey firm Pete's Bees, founded by Maniototo Area School pupil Pete Cheesmur.

Already a recipient of this year's Otago Daily Times Class Act Awards, Cheesmur has been dabbling with beekeeping and now has half a dozen hives making honey.

He has also branched out into conservation by creating Bee Hotels, which act as safe places for New Zealand's 28 species of native bee to live.

"The diversification into bee hotels was based around raising awareness about New Zealand native bees and conservation of their natural ecosystem which is under threat from invasive wasps and a huge lack of habitat," he said.

The teams were joint recipients of the Best Annual Review award.

University of Otago Business School dean Robin Gauld said the standard of products the pupils came up with this year had been unprecedented.

"They've really, really been creative, they've been innovative.

"They've worked on very real problems and come up with extraordinary solutions. To me that's what's really exciting about Young Enterprises - is bringing together innovation, creativity, and then finding a solution that's making a better world," he said.

The national final will be held in Wellington in December.


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