Budding business students recognised at UNE

Published 21 November 2013

Natalie&ZacWhat do pool supplies and fat lambs have in common?

They are both concepts behind winning business plans submitted by entrepreneurial Year 11 students from Armidale High School.

Zac Dobos and Natalie Waters (pictured) have had their fledgling business skills recognised by some of UNE’s  top academics from the UNE Business School as part of the inaugural North West Preliminary Business Studies Competition.

The competition challenged business studies students from six high schools across the New England and Northwest to imagine and write a business plan from scratch.

The winning plans were selected by the Head of the UNE Business School, Professor Alison Sheridan.

“The quality of work that went into the students’ plans was really very impressive with many creative ideas submitted and a large number of students showed a sophisticated understanding of management, finance, competitive strategy and supply and demand,” Professor Sheridan said.

Zac created his winning pool business plan after carefully assessing the market and competition in his chosen region. While Zac does not plan to actually put his business into place, he does hope to continue pursuing business both in his studies and his career.

Natalie’s business plan involved purchasing lambs straight from the market and selling them for a profit at a later date. Natalie does have ambitions to implement her plan by going into partnership with her father on their family property.

Tim Polson from Armidale High School decided to run the competition to get students thinking about business outside of the classroom.

“It’s a great way for students to get creative and put what they learn into practice, students do well when they’re working on a project they have chosen themselves. It allows them to be creative and make textbook concepts come to life,” Tim said.

“I am really happy with how well it was received by my students and students from the five other schools who took part.”

First and second place in the competition were taken out by Zac and Natalie respectively, with Brandon Dickson from Peel High School taking out third place.