Posted by Ruth Woodward
Young entrepreneurs go MAD about digital
Switching on young people’s IT brain is the aim of an initiative by the Venture Centre that’s proving popular in Western Bay secondary schools.
Make-A-Dent, known as ‘MAD’ Ventures, taps into entrepreneurs and digitally skilled people in the community and brings them together with secondary school pupils to turn pupils’ ideas into reality.
MAD is an initiative that coordinates youth programmes and workshops as part of the region’s Digital Enablement Project (DEP).
Venture Centre Co-Founder and Director, Jo Allum, says young people can access real-world expertise from role models, mentors, coaches and facilitators of learning outside the school curriculum and school hours.
“We are demonstrating to parents in Tauranga and Western Bay that they can tap into a community of support to improve their children’s digital and entrepreneurial future. This kind of community support adds to the experience of learners and makes it real.”
Venture Centre manages and implements the DEP on behalf of Western Bay of Plenty District and Tauranga City councils. The programme helps people access digital technologies to improve business and social interaction and boosts economic growth by increasing the commercial capability of local people.
MAD Ventures joins up multiple learning opportunities such as Codebrite (coding workshops), Mashup (a series of three events) and the region’s Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) which encourages young people to start their own business.
More than 150 secondary school pupils from the Western Bay and Tauranga took part in the YES programme this year.
Jo says Venture Centre’s aims to give youth the opportunity for hands-on learning through being an entrepreneur and starting their own business.
“The talent is here and we are delighted so many young people took part in these authentic learning opportunities. It gives them the skills and mindset they need to be successful – whatever path they wish to pursue.”
Venture Centre is holding a free, two-hour introduction to code (computer programming) for young people 8 to 13, on 25 January 2018 at Katikati College, in collaboration with the Katikati Community Centre.
Caption: Venture Centre’s 2017 Young Enterprise Scheme contestants, Team Wider Horizons, Otumoetai College