Nayland College business winners Phillipa Oldham, left, and Gemma Fern at the Saturday market. Photo: Amber Bourke.

Students take on market


For some, running and operating a business would be daunting at any age, but for these 16 and 17 year olds it has been a ball.

On Saturday five local high schools, including Nayland College, Nelson College and Nelson College for Girls, set up shop at Nelson Markets as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme where they had to create their own business.

There was a wide range of businesses across the schools that had great potential but more than that, the students learnt a lot about what it takes to run a good business.

Nayland College’s Eco Memories children’s craft kits were the winning business of the day, having won four free market stalls at Nelson Markets.

Year 13 student, Phillipa Oldham, CEO of Eco Memories, was really pleased with the win and is looking forward to the opportunity to make some more sales at the markets.

For Phillipa and her team, Saturday’s experience brought more than just winning glory but was a real learning curve in terms of improving their business.

“A lot of grandparents really liked them but a lot said that their grandchildren were too young for some of the parts in the kits which we hadn’t really thought about, so that was a good learning experience,” says Phillipa.

For Eco Memories, and many other students, their business dreams will not stop now the challenge is over.

“Some of us are now going on to do business at university. It was a good taste of what we could expect in the real world when running a business,” she says.

Robert Panzer, top of the south Youth Enterprise Scheme coordinator, was very impressed by all the schools on the day, but for Robert it’s the learning process for the students that is most significant.

“One of the biggest learning experiences is getting them out of their comfort zones, dealing directly with potential clients and building their confidence, that’s what it’s all about.”

The market stalls are the students second last step in their business journey, they now need to produce an annual report and to assess whether they are going to continue to run it, sell the business or close up shop.

Now all businesses need to up the momentum of their business and add marks to their results which will be awarded at the regional awards ceremony on October 26.