Aparima College takes top honours in contest

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Aparima Scarves company directors Shakaiya Raman-Angus (left), Laura Menzies and chief executive Emma Ronald (all 18), of Aparima College, celebrate their success at the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme awards ceremony recently.

FOR the sixth consecutive year, a company from Riverton’s Aparima College has taken out top honours at the annual Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Southland-Lakes District competition.

Aparima Scarves was named Southland Company of the Year at the YES prize-giving ceremony at the Southern Institute of Technology Tay St campus last week.

Company directors Shakaiya Raman-Angus, Laura Menzies and chief executive Emma Ronald developed and produced pure New Zealand wool scarves in Aparima College colours, with assistance from the Riverton community, to be sold at the school. So far, the company had sold about 60 scarves.

Shakaiya said she was “overwhelmed” by their achievement.

The aim of the company was to increase the sustainability of the wool industry, which was in decline, as well as to create a bond between the community and the school, she said.

Co-ordinated locally by the Southland Chamber of Commerce, YES provides Years 12 and 13 pupils with the opportunity to learn about business by setting up their own company and developing a business plan to produce and market a real product or service and make a real profit or loss.

Aparima Scarves was among 28 companies from Aparima College, James Hargest College, Mount Aspiring College and Southland Girls’ High School which took part in the regional competition this year.

As well as taking out the top prize, Aparima Scarves was also awarded excellence in environmental sustainability and company excellence, and was a finalist in the high growth potential category. Emma was also named Entrepreneur of the Year.

For winning the top award, Aparima Scarves received a cash prize of $250 and each director was awarded a $500 scholarship to attend the University of Otago business school.

The girls will now go on to represent the region at the YES national finals in Wellington in December.

“I am excited for our adventure in Wellington,” Emma said.

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