Forty-eight hours of virtually no sleep has earned a Hastings Christian School student a trip to Brazil and a $7000 scholarship to attend Massey University.

Year 12 student Anna van den Hout was part of the winning group, team Asia New Zealand Foundation – named after their mentors - who took out both business challenges relating to product innovation and market entry strategy at the Entrepreneurs In Action business experience in Wellington over the weekend, a first for the competition.

"We knew we had done pretty well because our mentors thought we might be in the top four. We didn't want to get our hopes up but we were definitely going for it," van den Hout said, with both exhaustion and jubilation written on her face.

"We stayed up until 2.30am finishing our pitches because the day before we had about 10 hours to write our business concept and then we were pitching the next morning so we worked into the night."


Members of the winning team for each challenge won a $3000 scholarship to Massey University, and the winning team of the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Challenge on Day 2 were awarded the trip to Brazil in December. Each student just by attending received a $1000 Massey scholarship, so van den Hout's total is $7000.

Winners of the trips to Chile (October) and Colombia (January) were chosen individually and were selected based on their performance over the weekend, and a supplementary video application.

For the challenge that won her and her team to Brazil they were instructed to create a market strategy to enter a Latin American country.

"It involved a lot of research and we had to cold call a few people."

"I think I got really lucky with the group I got put into because we had such a big variety of skills. I think that really helped us. We were all really confident when it came to speaking at the pitch but some people were good at marketing, writing and research."

While she still has another year left at school and has yet to decide where she will go, the scholarship to Massey has made her consider attending the Wellington campus. But one thing that won't change is her desire to study business and pursue her passion.

HOD english and business studies teacher, Zanita Thompson, was proud of her student.

Students at the school take part in the Young Enterprise Scheme as an extra-curricular activity and it is the first time someone from the Hawke's Bay school has attended, let alone won the top prizes.


EIA participants were chosen from the more than 3800 participants in The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme programme that spans the entire school year. Of those, 246 applied to compete in the weekend with only the top 80 students being selected into 10 teams from across New Zealand. Six of those 80 were Hawke's Bay YES students.

Along with Anna, Hawke's Bay students Kaysie Cornes from Te Aratika Academy won a trip to Chile, while Rahiri Makuini Edwards-Hammond from TKKM o Ngati Kahungunu o Te Wairoa and Woodford House student Jemima Peck are off to Colombia.