A Year 13 student at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti Kahungunu o Te Wairoa, Rahiri travels with others from her area to Hawke’s Bay Schools Trades Academy@EIT every Friday.
Even before signing up for the course taught by School of Business lecturer Rebecca Clarke, she and schoolmate Pahemata Robinson had decided they would go into business together.
The pair felt the Trades Academy Business Enterprise course would help them shape up their plans.
Rebecca oversees four Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) groups interested in running their own companies and Rahiri and Pahemata’s Project Rangatahi is one.
Rahiri and Pahemata are developing Project Rangatahi as a business that will provide a bridge between young Māori and opportunities that include scholarships, work experience and internships.
They are well underway with identifying 100 potential Māori leaders and to connecting these 16 to 21-year-olds with internships and other opportunities that will help them to grow.
The second strand of Project Rangatahi is providing a commercial service to industries and organisations.
“By way of that we are running a workshop in Wellington this week,” says Rahiri, who was one of 80 YES students chosen to take part in the Entrepreneurs in Action weekend workshop recently held in the capital.
Formed into teams of eight, the groups were each asked to create a product that empowers customers and then, as a further challenge, to develop and pitch a market entry business strategy.
Sixteen high-performing students were then selected to travel to a country in Latin America where they will each spend a week.
Flying out to Columbia in January, Rahiri is already thinking about learning some Spanish ahead of her trip. On her return, she and Pahemata are to move to Auckland for tertiary studies but will simultaneously continue to work on their business together.
“I love the Trades Academy and Rebecca has given us huge support, making the three-hour return trip from Wairoa worthwhile,” says Rahiri. “The whole YES experience is more valuable than we could have ever imagined.”