Saying YES to Innovation

Tuesday 29 October 2019, 8:37AM

By Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology


Overall winners, Bumble, a beeswax bag company with the judging panel
Overall winners, Bumble, a beeswax bag company with the judging panel Credit: Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology


The future of Tauranga’s business sector is secured if the regional finals of the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) is anything to go by.

The YES Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty Regional Final was held at Basestation on Durham Street in Tauranga last night. It involved six finalist teams making their pitch in a five-minute presentation to a panel of judges.

The judging panel consisted of Jessica Barnett, Head of Marketing & Communications – Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Zak Meyers, COO,  InMusic NZ Ltd. , Paula Clode, Financial Controller, Independent Stevedoring Ltd. and Rachael Gemming Associate Director, EY.

The teams represented six high schools from the Western Bay and consisted of a philanthropic business whose aim is to help orphans in the Philippines, a fashion label that promotes body positivity, a group that designed beeswax bags as a sustainable option to replace plastic bags, a company that sells menstrual cups with an aim of cutting down on waste, a natural mosquito repellent enterprise and a group of young entrepreneurs who have sold natural beauty products.  

The judges provided feedback to the groups before selecting Bumble, a beeswax bag company, as the overall winner and the Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty representative at the YES National Finals in Wellington on Wednesday, 4 December.

Head of Marketing and Communications at Toi Ohomai Jessica Barnett says she is impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit among the students and the focus on sustainable and cultural products.

“This is exactly why Toi Ohomai are sponsors of the YES programme. The future of work is becoming increasingly more difficult to accurately predict or even imagine. Determining and focusing on the types of skills and knowledge young people need from educators is more important than ever. What is clear is that it will not be the same skills that have served us during the last century or even the last decade.

“At Toi Ohomai, we are keen on helping to grow our student minds and give them skills that are practical and will lead them in to employment so they can give back to their communities and these finalists are already doing that through their businesses.

“Last night we saw a range of pitches that showcased the talent of our future business leaders and I am in awe of their potential. Their businesses are innovative and it is obvious that so much thought has been put into them.”

Pascale Hyboud Peron, Co-founder of Venture Centre and Regional Coordinator for Young Enterprise Scheme says it was inspiring and humbling to see youth being the change they want to see.

“The event showcased six finalists teams who showed off their best by pitching eloquently, answering the tough questions and articulating business models anchored in doing good for our people and planet.”