YES is an in-school programme, currently in schools across the Bay of Plenty. It supports young entrepreneurs to startup a business and run it over the course of the school year.
Four Year 12 business studies students from Otumoetai College came together in February to form their business, Bumble, producing beeswax bags, an alternative to ziplock bags.
The team agreed their purpose for taking part in the programme and learning business skills very quickly — to contribute to reducing the use of plastic in our everyday lives.
At the regional finals, held at Basestation coworking space in Tauranga, they impressed judges with their high energy pitch and achievement of their mission. All aspects of their market validation, product, financials and business viability convinced the judges.
The team began by exploring their shared view of problems to solve in the world. They asked themselves; What does the world need? What problems do we see in our community? What affects us most? Where can we make an impact? The environment stood out by far and making a positive impact became their goal.
Key to getting started was the insight they discovered. They saw beeswax wraps being popular and effective in removing plastic from lunch boxes and fridges.The problem — small produce like nuts, grapes, or popcorn, loved by children, can’t be contained in a wrap very easily. So the Bumble beeswax bag journey of change began.
Running a business is never easy and overcoming challenges one at a time is a sure way to keep going. Team composition, product development, market research, all aspects unturned unexpected results.
While they didn’t secure a mentor until late (sometimes good things take time:) they eventually got help from Alan Smith an experienced business mentor who has supported a range of YES teams in the past. With Alan’s stir, they learned to set and then focus on their goals, how to run smoother operations and dig deeper in their own critical thinking to bring the best quality product to market.
With a clear mission, a cohesive team, a great mentor and their teacher Nyssa Poffley by their side they were ready to change the world, one beeswax bag at a time!
Bumbles go-to-market testing took on an educational approach, delivering beeswax bag production workshops in primary schools. It achieved benefits to their impact goals too. Influencing the younger generation to be positive contributors to environmental sustainability was made easy by making it a fun, productive experience for them. It also delivered the team with an army of young environmentally conscious product champions. There’s nothing like the “pester power” of young children to change the habits of their parents!
Bumble are now getting ready for the finals in Wellington by refining their pitch, incorporating the feedback given to them by the judges at the regional event and following up on product sales enquiries from guests at the local event, invited along by Venture Centre team.
Bumble has an exciting journey ahead. Co-founder and CEO is already seeing past the Wellington finals: “Bumble is committed to keep going next year, by developing the education side and exploring the sale of kits… we have had a lot of interest from teachers and parents”
Go well Bumble! The Venture Centre community are buzzing about all your learning-by-doing this year, the skills you’ve gained and the clear and direct change you’re making in the world.
Follow Bumble on social media and keep up to date with their progress: