Now in its 10th year, the Young Enterprise event brings together 80 high school students from around New Zealand with the aim to help them develop entrepreneurial skills, including problem solving, innovative thinking and teamwork. This is the fourth year the Foundation’s Leadership Network has provided mentors.
The Foundation team won the Genesis Energy and the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise challenges. The team members will each be eligible for $7,000 of scholarships from Massey University and will visit Brazil in December, sponsored by the Latin America Centre of Asia Pacific Excellence where they will meet student groups, businesses and young entrepreneurs.
“This is the first time a team has won the two top prizes at the Entrepreneurs in Action event so we’re thrilled,” says Adele Mason, deputy executive director of the Foundation.
Members of the Foundation’s Leadership Network, who set aside their weekend to share their professional expertise, see their participation as a way of giving back.
It was the second time mentoring a team for Leadership Network member Natalie Sew Hoy, who works as an insights consultant at The Thinking Studio.
She says she loves seeing the ideas that the young people involved in the challenge come up with.
“It’s a two-way street. It’s not just us providing mentorship and our experience in business, but also hearing from them and their ideas.”
New Leadership Network member Sebastian Newman-Dennis, digital commerce strategist at Overdose Digital, says what made the Foundation team unique was that they were the only mentoring team that wasn’t from one company.
“So we bring our expertise from a whole bunch of different perspectives, and also our shared passion for Asia, and use that perspective to try and help the team."
The other Leadership Network members who mentored the team were Jack Sheppard, business development manager at skykiwi.com, and Shaun Tan, head of technology at Lanaco.
The Leadership Network is a global network of young New Zealand professionals who are at the forefront of strengthening New Zealand’s relationship with Asia.