National | Rangatahi

Kura students navigate path to entrepreneurship

While many students are enjoying their school holidays, Arohea Pēwhairangi and Omaio Waititi from Te Kura kaupapa Māori o Horouta Wānanga in Gisborne are taking a proactive step towards their future aspirations.

These two are among more than 50 students participating in the Young Navigators seminar, aimed at nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit among Māori and Pasifika youth

“One of the best things for me is seeing people who look like me,” says Waititi (Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui), highlighting the importance of representation in entrepreneurial spaces.

Pēwhairangi (Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-ā-Māhaki, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui) shares her post-school plans. “After school, I want to research more about entrepreneurship at university and associated knowledge about it,” showcasing her commitment to furthering her understanding of business principles.

Sponsored by One NZ and Pacific Business Trust, this seminar, now in its second year, is led by the Young Enterprise Scheme.

The three-day wānanga in Auckland is an all-expenses-paid opportunity for participating students to gain crucial skills and critical thinking abilities essential for their future entrepreneurial endeavours.

The head of Young Enterprise Scheme, Ian Musson (Ngāti Porou), sheds light on the significant challenges the students are tackling during the seminar.

“A big challenge they have today is super cool - they are focused on food insecurity, and looking at it from a worldwide perspective, how they would approach that as young people and young, indigenous people and how they could solve that. They’ve got the day to finish it, so this time tomorrow they will pitch and see what their solutions are.”

Musson acknowledges the demand for programmes like Young Navigators, saying, “We all know that it has the potential to do a lot more and our young people prove that potential to us because of the ideas they come up with.”