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Jul 30, 2018

Real life business booming at Otumoetai College

Otumoetai College entrepreneurs Aria Smart, Phoebe Adler, Paige Taylor, Monique Bevin and Louise Bremner with the fruits of their labour

180729 Young enterprise scheme Otumoetai College KM

Business is booming at Otumoetai College this year, with five groups of students enjoying success with their real-life businesses under the Young Enterprise Scheme.

YES is a nationwide programme where students set up and run a real business. Each YES company creates their own product or service and brings it to market.

Among the products on offer at Otumoetai College this year are a natural fruit snack, a salted caramel coconut spread, a bath bomb with a children’s toy inside, a number knowledge set for use in early childhood centres and a glass cheeseboard with an image of Mount Maunganui sandblasted on top.

Little Koko has already enjoyed success with its natural fruit snack, Rollies, winning the annual Mashup competition and selling more than 90 units at the Seriously Good Food Show last month.

Spokesperson Kayla Dawson says the product is a natural alternative to a similar product that disappeared from New Zealand supermarket shelves after being criticised for its high sugar content.

“They were fun to eat,” says Kayla, “but many of us are health conscious so our version uses coconut syrup.”

TILKS NZ has also jumped on the popularity of coconut products, developing a salted caramel coconut spread as a healthy alternative to the myriad of not-so-healthy options on our supermarket shelves.

“This product will suit people who are vegan, gluten free and dairy free,” says spokesperson Isabella Evans. “It can also be melted and used as a sauce.”

The company sold 70 units at the recent Seriously Good Food Show and the public will have another chance to buy at the Little Big Markets at Mount Maunganui on August 4.

Also selling at the same market in August will be the creation of BB Splash! The company’s spearmint, lavender, orange and lemongrass bath bombs contain a collectible safari toy inside and are aimed at children aged three-to-12 years old.

Wider Horizons launched its Tau Mohio Number Knowledge product – a set of number flash cards in Te Reo Maori and accompanied by a booklet of poems created by Moira Wairama – last year, winning the YES regional title for the Tauranga/Western Bay of Plenty region.

This year the company has branched out and developed an app to go with the product, including audio of the written poems.

Spokesperson Amia Wharry says one of the best things about the YES programme is the chance to interact with the business community outside of school

And the programme is not without its fair share of hard work. Students from the company Ember have developed a glass cheeseboard with an image of Mount Maunganui sandblasted on top, accompanied by a story about the legend of Mauao.

The students make the boards themselves and have so far completed 40, with more on order.