Course aims to inspire Maori entrepreneurs

Shelby Rupa-Hayward (left) , Brooke Woodford, Dillique Brown, Angus Pauley (tutor), Bubba Jessop ...
Shelby Rupa-Hayward (left) , Brooke Woodford, Dillique Brown, Angus Pauley (tutor), Bubba Jessop (obscured) and Tania Norman participate in a group activity at Nohoaka Pakihi. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
A group of Maori secondary school pupils are in Dunedin this week to be inspired to embark on business careers.

Twenty year 12 and 13 Maori economic and accounting pupils were picked from secondary schools throughout the country to attend Nohoaka Pakihi.

The boot-camp-styled programme, organised by the University of Otago’s Business School, is aimed at developing skills in innovation, collaboration, entrepreneurship, economics, sustainability and Maori business frameworks.

Pupils would participate in activities to inspire and challenge their business mindset, co-ordinator Taikawa Tamati-Elliffe said.

The programme started on Sunday and over five days pupils would create a business idea that could fix a problem within their own communities or lives.

They would develop those ideas after meeting and hearing from various businesses in Dunedin.

They would also spend time exploring what it meant to be a "Maori entrepreneur".

It was a fantastic opportunity for the pupils, Mr Tamati-Elliffe said.

"It has been pretty awesome so far ... it is a fun approach to business without it being information overload.

"They get to see some cool things and some very creative and innovative ways of dealing with challenges or problems people have, and seeing those solutions as well," he said.

The Maori economy was worth $70billion to New Zealand and the programme was a great way of enhancing the next generation, Mr Tamati-Elliffe said.

He wished there were more resources available to enable more programmes like Nohoaka Pakihi to be offered.

The programme ends tomorrow.

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