From terrified to terrific, students at Whanganui's PopUp Business School Aotearoa took on the challenge of selling their ideas to the public at a trade show.

The trade show, held at UCOL Whanganui on Tuesday, February 20, was an opportunity for the students to pitch their business idea outside the classroom. The business school has 46 people enrolled, all from Whanganui.

Brought to Whanganui by Whanganui & Partners and Te Manu Atatu, the 10-day course, which finishes on Friday, February 23, has included local businesspeople speaking about their experiences as well as classes on running a business.

"It's great that UCOL let us use their space for the trade show as it's a safe space for the business school students to pitch their ideas," Te Manu Atatu network facilitator Lisa Chase said.


"The growth in confidence to get to this stage has been amazing. They were pretty terrified when we said they would have to front up to a trade show. They have been supporting each other and we have had one-on-ones with them ahead of the trade show."

PopUp Business School Aotearoa students pitch their ideas to the public in at UCOL Whanganui.
PopUp Business School Aotearoa students pitch their ideas to the public in at UCOL Whanganui.

The business ideas range from information technology to handyman, beer brewing, make-up and beauty, vaping supplies, graphic design, photography and gift baskets amongst others.

Emma Dickinson said her business, Embark Yoga, included yoga classes for children and adults and a holistic focus on young women's wellbeing.

"The business school is great and the speakers have been good and have very clear messages," Ms Dickinson said.

"We are all at different levels with our businesses and it's been good to network and talk to other people about their ideas and what they're doing."

Ms Chase said the group would gather again in four weeks' time.

"We have a post-care plan and the students have their own support group online. A focus on what it's like after the business school is just as important as what they're learning on the course."