Friday 17 December 2021

Young Entrepreneurs Win National Awards

Seventeen year old Meg MacDonell from New Plymouth Girls’ High School, has been named the 2021 Young Enterprise CEO of the Year, at the Young Enterprise National Awards held on Wednesday night. MacDonell, CEO of Ora Cards, said in an emotional speech that she was “overwhelmed with gratitude” and that “this has been one of the best years of my life”.

Ora Cards also took away another huge award, the Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust Award for Tourism for its fun, innovative card game which aims to increase Te Reo spoken in New Zealand. The game is already in 21 Taranaki schools and has sold over 1000 packs.

The second Taranaki company to win big, receiving the National Excellence Award for Sales and Marketing was The Together Collective. Run by Sacred Heart Girls' College student Abbie Wood, it celebrates the work of young artists in Aotearoa by sharing their stories and creating limited edition clothing designs.

More than 4700 senior secondary students took part this year, setting up 1171 companies between them. The top 22 companies pitched to the judges online to vie for a share of more than $23,000 in cash prizes.

Judges Rachel Taulelei (Oho), David Downs (The New Zealand Story Group), Simon Whyte (Lion Foundation), Burcu Senel (HSBC New Zealand) and Brooke Roberts (Sharesies) were blown away with the calibre of pitches from the teams.

Hundreds of people joined the online event from homes and regional watch parties for the finalists’ presentations to the judges and announcement of the award winners.

The Taranaki Chamber of Commerce facilitates the scheme in our region on behalf of the Young Enterprise Trust and is supported by Massey University, Toi Foundation and many other sponsors.

CEO Arun Chaudhari said the Chamber is proud and grateful to be able to run the programme in Taranaki. “These enterprising high school students work on projects to provide services or products, which are beneficial to others, and they gain valuable business and life skills through the process.”

YES Regional Coordinator Megan Lepper says she is extremely proud, “the standard has been exceptionally high this year and to come away with three National Excellence Awards (out of a total of thirteen) is phenomenal really, especially when you consider the size of our region.”

For more information please contact:

Megan Lepper
YES Regional Coordinator
Taranaki Chamber of Commerce
027 586 6558