School teams in business battle

St Hilda's Collegiate team, ''Grind'' (unplaced) presents its coffee scrub to the ''dragons'' at...
St Hilda's Collegiate team, ''Grind'' (unplaced) presents its coffee scrub to the ''dragons'' at the Otago regional Young Enterprise Scheme competition. Team members are (from left) Polly Davies (16), Julia Landels (16), Aleisha Ruske (17), Maggie...

Some of Otago's business minds of the future faced their ''dragons'' in Dunedin yesterday, as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme regional competition.

Every year school teams go head to head to set up companies, create products and devise business plans to sell them.

Yesterday, 14 teams gave five-minute oral presentations before judges in the competition.

Scheme regional co-ordinator Paul Allen was impressed.

''The quality is always consistent and getting better every year,'' he said.

Presentations were followed with questions from ''dragons'' Steve Silvey, of Powerhouse Ventures, Michael Milne, of Craig's Investment Partners, and Claire Ramsay, of the University of Otago School of Business.

The questions tested the groups' product knowledge and marketing strategies.

Anna Morris (16) from St Hilda's created a coffee body scrub with her company Grind.

She said her team was very happy with its presentation.

''We were quite prepared, so it was fine.''

This year, 14 teams from five Otago high schools entered the competition.

They were Queen's High School, King's High School, St Hilda's Collegiate School, Otago Girls' High School and Columba College.

Cemcaa, from St Hilda's, won both the best oral presentation and best business plan categories. Virotizer, from Otago Girls' High School, won the most investment potential category.

The teams will go on to produce and sell their products.

At the end of term three, each team would produce an annual report to show what it had achieved, Mr Allen said.

An Otago regional winner would be chosen in October and would then compete in the national finals in December.

- Bridget Rutherford. 


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