Wild ginger might be a noxious weed in the Far North, but it could well lead to fame and fortune for three Far North secondary students, and it has already helped one of them to book a flight to Argentina.
Mazaione Tahana, CEO of the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) company Māori Ikon, at Te Kura Taumata o Panguru, was one of eight YES students from 100 applicants around the country to be selected for the Latin American experience. The others are from Auckland, Wellington, Hawarden, Hamilton, Dunedin and Hastings.
LatAm Biz: Entrepreneurship in Argentina is sponsored by the Latin America Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence, which has worked with Young Enterprise NZ to create a business challenge aimed at exposing New Zealand students to the opportunities awaiting them outside school and in the hub of businesses in Latin America.
The students will spend a week learning about the culture and business community in Buenos Aires, including visits to established companies and start-ups, meeting with local entrepreneurs and those involved in some New Zealand/Argentine trade relationships.
They will also partner with local students in teams to complete a business challenge, within a specific sector or industry, that will require innovative thinking.
They will present their work to a panel of local judges in an oral 'pitch.'
Andrea Panther, roaming teacher/YES in the Far North, said the experience would give the students the chance to learn about each other in a fun and constructive way, and to develop their teamwork and business skills through engaging in a joint project about business.
"They will take their experience back to their schools and communities, expanding awareness of the exciting sectors and career opportunities open to them," she added.
The students' reflections would be published on the Latin America CAPE website, circulated through e-newsletters, press releases and social media to a wide audience of corporates, sponsors and stakeholders who were passionate about developing young entrepreneurs' global citizenship and knowledge in global trade, particularly within the Asia-Pacific region.
(Māori Ikon has developed a product, made from wild ginger, that it says works as a plant food and pesticide. It is already being manufactured at Te Kura Taumata o Panguru and is undergoing laboratory testing).