Young entrepreneurs of everything from dog treats to transport tools were recognised last night at this year's Young Enterprise Scheme Regional Awards at EIT.
More than 180 students were involved in the scheme and regional co-ordinator and Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce business support manager Kara Lee said she was thrilled to recognise the winners.
"It is so amazing to watch these young people work together to take a product to market in such a short time with limited funds," Ms Lee said.
Ruff Tucker from Iona College won Young Enterprise company of the year for their healthy dog treats, which were made up of 100 per cent dehydrated bull meat.
The team included Year 12 students Gemma Burnside, Lucy Treseder, Emma Wilson and Brennagh Mullins.
They sold bags of Ruff Tucker beef jerky for $10, string walking pouches for $5 and zip walking pouches for $5.
CEO Gemma Burnside said she could not believe they won but it was amazing.
"We just wanted to put our tails out of our comfort zone and explore opportunities. We were all passionate about dogs and realised dog food was a profitable and sustainable product to create."
She said the group were going to continue selling their product until stock was sold out and then would look to sell it to external businesses who could help with production.
Ms Lee said the girls were brave with their product choice and did an amazing job.
"They went through the whole process of getting a cattle beast, dehydrating the meat and packaging with it all signed off by quality control. I am very proud."
There were five other award categories, which included best farmers market stall won by Karamu High School's Saucy Boys; an award for innovation won by Hastings' Boys High School's BCJ, an award for financial management won by Iona College's Ruff Tuckers, an award for teamwork won by Hastings' Boys High School's Open Plan Fashion and entrepreneur of the year won by Zahn Philip of Havelock North High School.
Ms Lee said all the teams from Hawke's Bay did very well and deserved to be recognised and their work celebrated.
"The growth I see in these young people as they struggle with everyday business challenges and their schooling to achieve so well as they have, is a credit to them."
Runner-up for company of the year was Hastings Boys High School's BCJ who created a transportation strop.
Ruff Tucker will head to Wellington in December to compete at the national awards.