Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Tapping into Pacific business potential

An upcoming Kau Tulī event is aiming to unlock young Pacific peoples’ potential and passion for business.

Pacific Youth in Business is being staged over one day at Victoria University of Wellington and will focus on problem-solving and developing innovative solutions to help Pacific youth realise their prospects in business. 

Pacific business leaders and entrepreneurs will also speak at the event, offering expertise and advice to Year 11 to 13 students. 

Central region Kau Tulī representative, Jess Reiher, from Porirua is the driver behind this event, and she says inspiration has come from seeing a lack of opportunities for Pacific young people to exercise innovation and realise their passion and skills, particularly in the business and entrepreneurship space. 

“There is low self-employment and business ownership within the Pacific population in New Zealand – 1.6 percent of Pacific people run their own business, compared to 12 percent of Maori,” Ms Reiher said. 

“We need to inspire and enable our young people who are identifying problems and innovating, they need to see Pasifika role models who are running their own businesses and have opportunities to develop their entrepreneurial skills,” she said.

“It is so important to enable Pasifika young people to realise their potential and passion, leading to more satisfaction and success in their future paths.” 

Of Kiribati and Māori (Ngāti Kahungunu) heritage, Ms Reiher is helping to inform and shape the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ (MPP) response to achieving goal four of Lalanga Fou and the Pacific Aotearoa vision of having Confident, Thriving and Resilient Pacific young people.   

She says being a part of Kau Tulī presents a unique and valuable opportunity to positively impact Pacific Aotearoa. 

“Not only do we provide feedback, advice and intel to the Ministry, but we are supported to start our own initiatives, like this event, to truly have an impact on Pacific youth in alignment with goal four.” 

She has high hopes for the event that Pacific young people will realise their potential and passion for business, leading to more satisfaction and success in their future paths. 

“It is hoped they will see a clearer pathway into further study or a career and feel encouraged and able to start their own initiative,” she said.

Pacific youth in business

When: April 17 (9am to 3:30pm)

Where: Victoria University of Wellington Pipitea Campus MZ103

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