Kitset cardboard houses, stackable bed frames, tea filters made from charcoal and environmentally friendly pine-based drink bottles were just some of the wood-based products envisioned by 81 young aspiring entrepreneurs taking part in the FedEx Express/Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge over the weekend.
The budding entrepreneurs, aged between 16-19, worked in teams to prepare a market entry plan and 15 students were shortlisted to present ideas to the judging panel who then selected the final six.
After a grueling two days FedEx and Young Enterprise Trust announced the lucky six, who will go on to compete with eight other Asia Pacific countries and their 48 representatives at the Asia Pacific ITC in Hong Kong from August 26 - 29:
Isabella Morris, 17 years, Tauranga Girls' College
Karan Deva, 17 years, Macleans College Auckland
Jesse Medcalf, 17 years, Westlake Boys Auckland
Alice McFall, 17 years, Aquinas College, Bay of Plenty
Lorenzo Peace, 17 years, Wanganui Collegiate
Joel MacManus, 17 years, Garin College, Nelson
Lee Davis, FedEx country manager New Zealand and Pacific Islands, and one of the five judges, said the three teams were selected based on their understanding of economic and business concepts, market entry strategies and entrepreneurship skills.
"We are really pleased with the level of professionalism and creativity shown by the students this year. The six winners impressed us with their passion, ingenuity, creativity, teamwork and communication skills. They were able to effectively communicate the value proposition of their market entry strategies."
Organised by Young Enterprise Trust, the FedEx/JA International Trade Challenge is designed to help students in Asia Pacific markets learn about international trade and provide them with an opportunity to set up a mock business and develop a plan to export a product to an overseas market.