The future of thriving Pacific businesses in New Zealand looks bright with the likes of The Hustle in the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES).
Bishop Viard College company The Hustle has claimed the National Excellence Business Award for Pasifika Business at last week’s Lion Foundation YES National Awards 2020, staged at Te Papa Tongarewa.
At the start of the year, The Hustle recognised there was a gap in the market for the representation of Samoan history and language, so came up with the concept to highlight the culture on reusable stainless-steel bottles.
The Hustle have sold 369 units and won the Wellington Region market validation prize at the beginning of the year.
Its team members say the most rewarding achievement has been the fa’aaloalo (respect) shown by the community while demonstrating alofa (love) for sharing the community’s stories is the greatest gift.
The company’s Chief Executive Officer Malaga Aukusotino also claimed the CEO of the Year title at the annual awards, and has taken home $3,000 worth of training with future leaders, and $1,000 to put towards leadership development opportunities.
This title is awarded to the YES CEO who most effectively demonstrates leadership, support, sharing the limelight and keeping things together through the challenging times - a skill which proved very necessary this year.
Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Aupito William Sio was at the awards to congratulate the budding successful entrepreneurs and to show the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) continued support of YES.
Despite the disruptions faced in 2020 more than 4000 senior secondary students took part in YES this year, setting up over 1000 companies between them.
Only 21 of those companies made it to the National Final, and only one was crowned YES Company of the Year.
Regional Champions from across the country came to Wellington to pitch in the dragon’s den style National Final and attended the awards dinner where they found out which companies won a share of the $23,000+ cash prize pool.
Pakuranga College business SLIC NZ (Sign Language Interactive Cards) took out the Company of the Year, winning $3000, as well as a $5000 scholarship for each company member to the Massey University Business School, while the school also receives $2000.
SLIC NZ is social enterprise which has been designed with the vision to have everyone in New Zealand learning sign language.
Its mission is to educate, promote and raise awareness of New Zealand’s third nationally recognised language through the interactive card game.
The cards incorporate Te Reo Māori and various aspects of New Zealand culture, and the incorporation of all three of New Zealand’s national languages has garnered media interest from across the country.
In second place overall was Abalro from Bay Field High School, which created a health supplement made from imported Barberries.
The company was awarded $2000, as well as an additional $1000 for their school.
Remojo Tech from Aotea College came third.
Remojo Tech is creating a sustainable solution to e-waste problems while also enabling device accessibility among students in schools, and the company was awarded a $1000 cash prize and $1000 for their school.