Business · 4 Nov 2020

Aparima College Student Wins Southland Young Enterprise of the Year Awards

News Desk

News Desk

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Aparima College student Dom Riddle has taken out first prize in the Southland Young Enterprise of the Year Awards, among a collection of other achievements.

Celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship, the YES Awards are the culmination of a year long competition, which challenges participating schools to create and run sustainable businesses.

“The potential and enthusiasm for these innovative businesses is exciting. There’s clearly a generation of entrepreneurs being nurtured in schools. We can’t wait to see how far they can go.” Louise Evans, Chief Activator of COIN South added.

What’s On Invers managing director Mike Sanford presenting the Tourism Award (sponsored by What’s On Inver) to Dom Riddell. Photo: whatsoninvers.nz

Culminating in the regional finals where the top 10 teams pitch their business to a panel of judges. The judging panel included Fiona Tyrie and Dave Rohan (Southern Institute of Technology), Jackie Flutey (Community Trust South), Tanya Hope (Findex NZ), Mike Sanford (What’s on Invers) and Louise Evans (COIN South).

Dom’s winning business, Whenua Photography, also picked up the:

  • Award for Innovation sponsored by Findex
  • Award for Sales & Marketing sponsored by Craigs Design & Print
  • Southland Company of the Year
  • Tourism Award, sponsored by What’s On Invers

As part of the company’s quadruple bottom line, focusing on people, purpose, planet and profit, Dom’s was one of few startups who truly innovated during the pandemic to continue creating revenue. His Southland landscape photography was repurposed, branded and sold to local corporates for use as Zoom backgrounds for meetings. The images became paid-for marketing to sell much larger works, and in turn showcased Southland to a wide audience.

The full list of regional winners announced were:

  • Southland Company of the Year: Whenua Photography, Aparima College
  • Award for Sales & Marketing sponsored by Craigs Design & Print – Whenua
    Photography, Aparima College
  • Award for Tourism sponsored by Whats On Invers – Whenua Photography, Aparima College
  • Award for Innovation sponsored by Findex – Whenua Photography, Aparima College
  • Award for Social Enterprise sponsored by South Port NZ Ltd – Pursonally, Mount Aspiring College
  • Award for Paying Most Tax sponsored by COIN South – Dear Beauty, Mount Aspiring College
  • Southland Young Enterpriser of the Year sponsored by Community Trust South – Dom Riddell, Whenua Photography, Aparima College

Dom Riddell will head to Wellington on December 10th to vie for the title of The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme Company of the Year in a dragon’s den style National Final. Twenty-one regional champions from across New Zealand will compete at the final and attend the YES National Awards dinner at The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa that same evening.

More than 4000 students have taken part in The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme this year, creating over 1000 real-life businesses between them. The one-year programme gives students an authentic learning experience which develops their entrepreneurial mind-set and helps build transferable skills which are becoming increasingly sought after in employment. More than $23,000 in prizes will be awarded to student companies at the awards evening.