Business competition stimulates young entrepreneurs

Published 29 November 2012

Innovative business plans for establishing a tailored menswear business and a pizza restaurant and café were the two winning entries in the inaugural North West Region Business Studies Competition for senior school students.

Sponsored by the UNE Business School at the University of New England, the competition aims to stimulate entrepreneurial activity in the region through providing early experience to young people.

Shaun Dyball (pictured here, right) from Calrossy Anglican School in Tamworth won 1st Prize with his plan for “Men’s Business”, a company designed to provide men with tailor-made but relatively inexpensive clothes.

“I decided on this project because of my interest in fashion,” Shaun said, adding that he’d like to try and make his plan a reality one day. In the meantime, he’s preparing for the Higher School Certificate examinations next year and looking forward to business-related studies at university. “I think the competition is a good initiative,” he said. “Entrepreneurs are often young people with new ideas.”

The winner of the 2nd Prize, Alex Malcolm (pictured here, left) from Duval High School in Armidale, also has a hankering to see his business plan become a reality. Called “Mal Paccino’s”, his project exploits what he sees as an opening in the market for an all-day pizza restaurant / café.

Alex’s proud father, John Malcolm, who holds a Master of Business Administration degree from UNE, visited the University last week for the award presentation ceremony. Also at the ceremony were Business Studies teachers Stacey Elston from Calrossy Anglican School and Patrick Turley from Duval High.

In presenting the award certificates and the cash prizes, Professor Alison Sheridan, Head of the UNE Business School, praised the two students for their application of academic skills in an extracurricular activity that required them to meet deadlines while working creatively. “Such development of business skills in young people gives us optimism for the future,” Professor Sheridan said. “We look forward to the further development of the competition in the years to come.”

She thanked Tim Polson, Business Studies teacher at Armidale High School, for both initiating and coordinating the competition. Mr Polson thanked the University for its sponsorship, and said he was pleased with the outcome of the competition’s first year. Explaining that it had been designed to enhance the existing curriculum rather than adding additional work for staff and students he said that he, too, was looking forward to its future development.