Young people’s innovation key to the future of the Cooks economy

Thursday July 18, 2019 Written by Published in Education
Adelaida Brown has brave thoughts for her future in business. 19071709 Adelaida Brown has brave thoughts for her future in business. 19071709

“BRAVE” is the right word to describe the phone app designed by Adelaida Brown and her school friends.

 

The app is intended to help those who have overcome drug addiction to communicate with addicts who are still suffering, and help them.

Brown and her friends designed it as their contribution to the Brave Thinkers young entrepreneurs programme, held in New Zealand. “There’s so much more to starting up and managing a business than I thought,” she said.

Fletcher Melvin, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, applauded their innovation. He said the more people get creative about business, the better for the future of the Cook Islands economy.

Eighteen senior students of Tereora College have each received a $1000 contribution to their university fund after attending the Brave Thinkers programme.

Held in Palmerston North as part of New Zealand business week, students spent six days learning with other students from across New Zealand.

They analysed business models, learned about the changing business world, and undertook “high pressure” team challenges.

Young entrepreneurs Adelaida Brown and Tehina Pennycook got $2000, as part of the winning team that came up with an idea to produce an app to help young addicts on the road to recovery. Adelaida described it as a social “buddy support system” app for members of the community who have overcome drug addiction to be able to communicate and help addicts still suffering.

Brown is planning to study business at university then return to work in the Cook Islands.

“Coming from a background where my parents were business owners, I thought everything there would be so familiar to me like a business workshop. I was so wrong, it actually wasn’t!”

“Many of them spoke on their experiences like how they were resilient when they faced challenges. This really stood out to me because knowing how to start a business is important, but knowing how to sustain your business is just as important.”

Fletcher Melvin, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, said innovation was key to the future of the economy. “Right now the students are learning about diverse business models, new and innovative markets rather than trying to do what’s already been done,” he said.

Melvin has spoken to the commerce class at Tereora College. There are plenty of business opportunities in Rarotonga, he says. Creative businesses will not only be a way for Cook Islanders to make a living, but will contribute to tourism and the health of the economy. 

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