As the Entrepreneurs In Action (EIA) business competition approached, Jack Monckton hadn't even applied to participate.

A competitor dropped out, Monckton accepted an offer to participate, and he became part of the winning team that took out two challenges to secure a trip to Brazil.

The first challenge on the team of eight's plate was the Genesis Energy challenge.

"They wanted us to come up with a product or a service that was going to solve, what they call churn, which is when people are constantly changing their electricity providers," Monckton said.


"We developed a service to stop that."

Monckton, 16, does business studies at Wanganui Collegiate School and the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) is incorporated into the class as part of its curriculum.

He hadn't intended to take part in the EIA competition as it didn't fit in with the rest of his school activities.

Ten teams of eight competed at the EIA competition and each team had a host company that mentored the students at their premises throughout.

Monckton and company were selected out of 246 applicants and his team were mentored by the Asia NZ Foundation.

"We'd already won the first challenge, so we were very happy with that, but no team had gone on to win both," Monckton said.

"We weren't too sure if we'd be able to do it, but we went into the second with high hopes and we were so excited when we found out we'd won."

The second challenge was hosted by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, it was a market entry challenge in which teams acted as a fictional agri-tech company attempting to launch an existing product in the Latin American market.

In the challenges, teams are given a brief outlining a problem that they need to solve, by the afternoon they are required to hand in a concept plan and then they pitch it to a judging panel in the evening.

The trip to Brazil is the result of Young Enterprise partnering up with the Latin America Centre for Asia Pacific Excellence (CAPES) and Monckton is the only Whanganui student involved.

"The weekend opened me up to a whole different way of approaching a problem and I think that was the idea of it," Monckton said.

"I haven't been to Latin America before so I'm really excited to see what it's like and to experience the culture."

While there, students will learn about Latin American culture and business, they will meet local entrepreneurs, visit established companies and start ups, and work with local students.

All 80 EIA business competitors received a $1000 scholarship to Massey University, Monckton and his teammates were also awarded a further $6000 each for their wins.