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A group of Manurewa High School Students braved The Dragon's Den to help raise funds for The Life Education Trust and placed third in the challenge run by the Lion Foundation.
The seven students founded 'Caring & Co' - a company whose main objective is "caring for our community". Caring & Co approached the Life Education Trust (HAROLD the Giraffe), a voluntary organisation delivering positive health based education to a quarter of a million young people every year. Caring & Co wanted to support the Life Education Trust's work, to enable them to reach more children within the community.
With this goal in mind, Caring & Co decided to raise funds by producing and selling handpicked, New Zealand made, Extra Virgin Olive Oil. They negotiated with suppliers and producers and were fortunate in securing the support of 'The Estate' on Waiheke Island, who kindly donated a tonne of olives to the cause. After the olives were hand-picked by 26 volunteers, producers Azzuro Groves were happy to process the olives into Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Although the high quality olive oil is still in the process of being made, Caring & Co have been flooded with 250 pre-orders for the Unique Drizzle product. Each bottle of Unique Drizzle sold will fund one child through a Life Education Trust programme.
The students entered their project into the Lion Foundation's Young South Auckland Dragons' Den Competition, where they joined forty other businesses who had to present their ideas to a panel of three judges. The team were delighted to be announced as one of the fifteen finalists.
The students said last week's Dragons' Den final was "very nerve racking". They presented their business plan to a panel of judges, a mentor and all the other finalists. All the finalists' presentations were of a very high standard, and the ten minute deliberation by the judges "seemed to take forever!".
The judges announced Caring & Co as third place winners. The students are extremely proud of their achievement, and happy all the hard work has paid off. They say "There is more to come and we are very eager for upcoming events. We hope to make ourselves and Manurewa High School proud. We want to continue to care for our community."
While the Unique Drizzle completes its production process, the students are working with Alexander Fine Foods to attach a sample of Dukkah to the neck of the product, and GEON print to produce a designer label which tells their story. The venture is proving so successful, the students are talking with Homai Primary School to fund the whole school through the Life Education Trust Programme in 2013.
As the next stage of their project, they have just launched their Facebook page which can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/Caring.Co