Pupils nail spot in finals

CIARA PRATT
Last updated 12:42 06/12/2013
Henderson students

BUSINESS WOMEN: The Starlight team from left, Manisha Chandra, Monica Ishak, Jefy Mannanal, Rebecca Samuel and Radhika Sud.

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The simple act of painting nails has a group of Henderson girls on the path to business success.

Five year 13 students from St Dominic's College have made it to the finals in the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) held in Wellington next week.

The students have created an affordable quick-drying, lead-free nail polish after determining this was the item most requested by girls their age.

YES gives students from years 12 and 13 the chance to set up and run their own businesses.

Around 500 teams from high schools across the country enter the competition - 26 have made it to the final round this year.

Starlight's chief executive Monica Ishak says the group has been working on the business since the beginning of the year.

"We didn't want the polishes to be toxic or harmful because much of our market were young girls.

"We had no idea where to start so we have done a lot of research."

Team member Rebecca Samuels says Starlight has learned some important lessons along the way.

"It's been stressful at times but a really good learning experience.

"Our biggest lesson has been time management. You have to prioritise and you have to sacrifice aspects of your life to commit to your business."

Products to make the nail polish were sourced from New Zealand and Chinese suppliers.

Once they decided their target market and invested their own money, the group sold the polishes at $5 and ended up making a profit of nearly $500.

Four of the students plan to carry on with business by studying a bachelor of commerce next year.

St Dominic's College principal Carol Coddington says this is the third year the school has reached the finals.

"We are very proud of them. This is a big commitment to take on.

"A competition like this is a good grounding for our girls who want to do business and it's very student driven."

The school has donated $1000 to the team to help them all attend the YES final gala dinner in Wellington on December 11.

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- Western Leader

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