Distance no drawback for vendors
Nearly 200 kilometres between nine budding business entrepreneurs hasn't stopped the school students launching a creative book cover.
The group, from Palmerston North, Taihape, Masterton and Otaki, have created a company called Recycled and Reused Enter prises (RaRe).
They sell reusable book covers, made from recycled materials, with added extras - the covers have pockets for storing keys, phones, pens, eftpos cards or cash.
The group, made up of 16-to 18-year-olds, started brainstorming ideas as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) and are now pushing their product.
RaRe's first idea was to create a Kiwiana-themed mobile phone application.
"That led us to thinking about our phones and how we're always carrying them around with us, but we never had anywhere to put them," said Taihape Area School pupil Georgina Phillips, 18.
The group explored the pocketed cover concept and expanded the idea to include text books, folders and diaries.
Otaki College pupil Isaac Hudson, 17, said the group's geographical spread had been a challenge during the project but there were also some benefits.
"We can bring new ideas from our own communities, we get more feedback and we have a wider area we can market to," he said. "The project has given us an easy way of learning how the business world works."
RaRe group are all involved in U-Skills Trades Academy, which brings the students together for one day a week at UCOL's Palmerston North campus. Freyberg High School student Cameron Sturley, 16, said it was a hands-on opportunity to gain business knowledge, including being involved in YES.
Young Enterprise Trust regional co-ordinator Richard Dryden said the students had done well.
"The one thing we've loved about these guys is because they're so geographically spread and the fact they only meet once a week they're already at a disadvantage to the rest of the schools involved [in YES], but despite that they've puts their heads down, bums up and achieved a lot."