Innovation shown by upcoming entrepreneurs

Monday June 08, 2020 Written by Published in Economy
Vaine Toa O T e Uki Ou’s Meriama Pickering, Temaria Saitu, Martha Strickland and Kaylee Herman with a sample of the floral perfumes they intend to produce and market. 20060404 Vaine Toa O T e Uki Ou’s Meriama Pickering, Temaria Saitu, Martha Strickland and Kaylee Herman with a sample of the floral perfumes they intend to produce and market. 20060404

Locally made tiare maori perfume, a child safety motorbike harness, organically made ice cream and ice blocks and a device to monitor water flow.

These are the innovative ideas of business-minded Tereora College students who are part of this year’s Young Enterprise Scheme (YES).

The four groups – Vaine Toa o Te Uki Ou, Ora, Taui and Meraki - were given a financial boost of $250 worth of seed money by major sponsor Bank of Cook Islands (BCI) and the Chamber of Commerce to kick start their businesses.

Each business presented their proposals to representatives from BCI and the Chamber of Commerce.

Vaine Toa o Te Uki Ou has already made a prototype of their perfume which they handed out to the audience to smell. They plan to use packaging made out of coconut husk and rito and have enlisted the help of Island Craft to experiment.

Members of Ora have tested making ice creams and ice blocks with 100 per cent locally grown fruit. They are looking at buying an ice cream maker with the funds they have been given.

SenseIT is a device invented by Taui that monitors the flow of water to combat plumbing issues. The group has been working in partnership with Vodafone.

A Barnabi Cuddle is a child safety motorbike harness that can be used to safely carry a child on the back of a motorbike. The group are looking at ways of producing the harness cost effectively, but have had trouble securing the appropriate fabric on Rarotonga.  

Most of the students have also put their own money towards their projects.

Requirements included allocating roles like a chief executive officer and communication and marketing managers, drafting a business plan and seeking the help of mentors.

They signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which means their businesses are registered.

Bank Cook Islands managing director Vaine Arioka was full of praise while asking questions and sharing tips and tricks.

Fletcher Melvin of Chamber of Commerce said he was inspired by the innovation shown by each of the groups of young Cook Islanders.

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