Westland for the Wild at Heart
WHO and WHERE
The competition was organised in three phases:
The first prize was $5000 and runner up $3000. Throughout each phase the young entrepreneurs were supported by expert mentors gathered from the Westland community - their areas of expertise included marketing, banking, accounting, legal, and planning and regulatory.
WHAT WE GAVE MONEY FOR
Of the three winners, one has gone on to follow her business plan - Melissa Scarlett’s “River Play Adventure Kayaking,” run together with partner Deane Parker, can be checked out on their website: www.riverplay.co.nz.
Melissa reports…”since the completion of the Go Westland competition, Deane and I have been enjoying the challenge of putting the Plan into action. We have developed and consolidated our adventure products, gained concessions from the Mawhera Incorporation (Arahura River) and DOC, and have used our business plan to help gain finance from the West Coast Development Trust. We now have exclusive access to the Arahura River on which we run Adventure Rafting - a guided hiking or heli access trip. This river is the source of much of New Zealand’s pounamu and is therefore very culturally significant to Maori, plus it has great white water…………..the Business Plan Competition was a great initiative from the WDC (Westland District Council) and I would encourage other organisations to offer similar opportunities to young people”.
Amanda Ingham has used the skills learnt during the competition to trigger a new idea for a business (not the one submitted for the competition!) which she hopes to develop further in the future.
Sarah Murray has decided not to go ahead with her winning idea however she says the experience was invaluable and a wonderful learning opportunity. She feels confident that she will at some time put the skills learnt to good use, either by development of her prize-winning idea or being able to create a business plan for a completely different venture. She was disappointed that more young people didn’t respond to the challenge.
Organisers John and Maree Howard were also disappointed that there were fewer entries than expected, just 8, but the ideas were very good and all those taking part felt they had learned a lot.
PARTNERS and SUPPORTERS