Enterprising Izzi into business
Opinion & Analysis
This time a year ago, student Izzi Morris, 17, was adamant she would never consider business as a career.
"My impression was that it was too stressful, too boring, too cut-throat and, frankly, there were just too many men in black suits," she told those attending last night's Fairfax Media NZ Business Hall of Fame awards dinner in Auckland.
Morris was chosen from 2900 Lion Foundation Young Enterprise students nationwide as its student ambassador to deliver a speech at the black-tie event.
She said it was only because of a passionate teacher that she had become involved in the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme.
Under the YES programme students had to create a real business, negotiate with suppliers, create a website, sell stock, and complete budgets and cashflows.
"What we have been doing is making real mistakes and learning real lessons from them," said Izzi, a Tauranga Girls College student.
"That girl who refused to ever be involved in commerce a year ago is now standing here talking to the most influential businesspeople in the country, going on to study commerce at university and has a huge passion and drive for a career in business.
"That is the power of an experience."
Her team's business, Tiger Enterprise, produced Tiger Multi Bags, reusable, machine-washable lunch bags and toiletry bags that come in about 20 different designs.
"At our school, we found that teenage girls don't like lunch boxes any more – it's a very year 9 thing to do and no-one wants to be associated with year 9s," she said.
"It's a good little business."
Morris last night called on the businesspeople in the room to invest in young people in New Zealand.
"It can be your money but, to be honest, we would benefit more from an investment of your time and your expertise," she said.
Six laureates were inducted into the business hall of fame last night. The selection criteria included contributions to business and philanthropy.
Graeme Lowe founded Lowe Corporation 40 years ago. Bill Gallagher Sr (1911-1990) founded in the 1930s the firm famous for developing the electric fence, Hamilton-based Gallagher group. Sir Graeme Douglas founded Douglas Pharmaceuticals in Auckland in 1967. Sir Patrick Higgins is chairman and co-owner of roading and civil contracting company the Higgins Group. Thomas Macarthy (1833-1912) was a Wellington brewer. Mary Jane Milne (1840-1921) was an Auckland hat maker who set up shop with her sister and, later, her brother-in-law, to become Milne and Choyce, a milliner, drapery and dressmaking business.
- © Fairfax NZ News