Wanaka teen entrepreneur off to Chile

This article was reproduced with permission from the WanakaApp.

Photo credit: Pedro Pimentel

Seventeen-year-old Mount Aspiring College student Jake Nicholson will head to Chile in October after succeeding at the Entrepreneurs in Action (EIA) business competition earlier this month.

At EIA, teams from around the country competed in two back-to-back challenges relating to product innovation and market entry strategy.

Jake was individually selected for the overseas trip because of his performance at the EIA weekend.

He and 23 other promising young entrepreneurs will learn all about Latin American culture and business. They will meet local entrepreneurs, including those involved in some of our trade relationships; experience site visits to established companies and start-ups; and work with local students on thought-provoking business challenges.

 Being selected came as a shock to Jake.

 “It definitely took a while to sink in,” he said. Obviously I was over the moon, but once I had finally registered that I was going to fly halfway across the globe to fulfil a passion of mine, I reached a whole new level of excitement.”

 The overseas trips are part of a partnership between Young Enterprise (YES) and the Latin America Centre for Asia Pacific Excellence (CAPE).

 “We have a great track record for fresh thinking initiatives and these trips are an investment in young New Zealanders,” YES Southland regional co-ordinator Joanne O’Connor said, “to enhance their intercultural business acumen, understanding of the importance of Latin America to New Zealand’s future, and to inspire them to be the next generation of young entrepreneurs.”

 Jake is looking forward to the opportunity to learn about Chilean culture and make connections with new people and businesses, as well as learn more about what his future may hold.

 “Something I’m hoping to get out of the trip is an excitement for my future career in business,” Jake said. “With the last year of high-school coming to an end it is a slightly nervous time for me (and I’m sure many others) so hopefully this trip overseas can provide an example of what I have to look forward too if I keep focused.”

 Jake will complete his high school education at the end of the school year, and he hopes to study a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in International Business or Finance.

 “I’m currently in the process of applying for universities right now so I’m not sure where I’ll end up yet but business, finance and entrepreneurship have always been passions of mine so wherever I end up I’m sure I’ll be enjoying my course.”

This article was originally published by The CUBE and has been republished by Startup Queenstown Lakes to complete our archives.