Taste of global business


While our athletes in London compete against the best in the world, a Nelson student with a head for entrepreneurship is preparing to represent New Zealand in a competition focusing on business skills.

Garin College student Joel MacManus, 17, part of the team behind Ethical Mall, an online e-commerce site offering ethically produced wares, will be part of a team representing New Zealand at the 2012 Asia Pacific FedEx Express Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge in Hong Kong this month.

He earned the spot in the six-person team after topping a field of 81 competitors at the FedEx JA ITC in Auckland in June.

The team will compete on August 25 with 48 students from eight other countries - Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The competition is designed to hone business knowledge, build confidence and help students gain an understanding of risk taking, world trade, product distribution and promotion through teamwork.

He was back up in Auckland last weekend taking part in the FedEx International Trade Challenge Workshop.

Hosted at the FedEx New Zealand office, the workshop was designed to give the students a taste of the pressure they will be under at the competition and equip them with further knowledge on market entry strategy.

There were seminars on sales and marketing and logistics and previous winners of the 2009 Asia Pacific finals spoke to the group about what to expect and provided them with some valuable advice.

On the second day, FedEx set them a mock challenge to provide a market entry strategy to sell a football product to Brazil, in order to give them a preview of what they can expect in Hong Kong.

On August 25, the same day as Joel's competition in Hong Kong, the rest of his Ethical Mall team will go up against fellow entrepreneurs from around the region at the Nelson Market during the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme Trade Fair.

The trade fair gives the student companies the chance to promote their business, continue their product development and deal directly with customers and generate sales.

Up to 34 businesses created by teams from Garin College, Nayland College, Nelson College, Nelson College for Girls and Golden Bay High School will showcase and sell their products and services at the Nelson Market in Montgomery Square from 8am onwards.

The businesses' products and services range from clothing, toys and drink bottles to customised condoms.

The best-performing teams will be rewarded with a half day waka ama experience.

The Nelson Mail