Opportunities have expanded for a Year 13 student after attending a business challenge in Argentina in July.
Millie Wilcox was one of eight New Zealand students chosen to spend a week in Buenos Aires as part of a Latin America Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence (LA CAPE) and Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) joint business challenge.
The challenge aims to encourage future contact between the two countries by exposing students to the business opportunities waiting for them in Latin America.
Millie found out about the opportunity to take part in YES in her business and economics class.
“I saw a post on their Facebook page about two days before the entry deadline, and I created a 90-second video. I then got a call and found out I was part of the free trip to Argentina. There was less than a month between this and leaving for Argentina,” she says.
Millie and her group, made up of two students from New Zealand and one from Argentina, had to create a market entry strategy for a New Zealand business, Sharesies, into Argentina.
“We had to do the first part of our assignments while still in New Zealand, which was to research the company we would be doing a market entry strategy plan for. My group was given Sharesies, which I was already familiar with because we had studied them in class.”
Throughout the challenge, Millie had the opportunity to visit a variety of businesses and learn about Argentinean culture.
“On the first day, we visited the New Zealand Embassy, and then in the following days, we visited nine businesses for about one or two hours at a time. We went to a unicorn start-up, which is a start-up that’s worth $1 billion. They had a ball pit in their office that was their meeting room.
“We also visited a company that was technically only one person. We also went to two on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. It was amazing to meet such a range of businesses,” Millie says.
“At the end of the trip, we had to write a two-page business plan for Sharesies and then put it to the judges. It was really awesome because everyone from the businesses and the New Zealand Embassy came to watch our presentations and support us. It was especially exciting because my team actually won.”
Highlights for Millie included the culture and the atmosphere of the business conferences.
“As well as visiting businesses, we did cultural activities every night, like tango lessons. We also did a language class every morning. The culture was also one of my favourite parts. We got so used to kissing people on the cheeks as greetings, and having mate tea was such a big part of every day. We spent the days passing tea between ourselves because it’s seen as a privilege and people want to share with you,” she says.
“For me, the most interesting parts were the differences between New Zealand and Argentina. Argentina is a third-world country, and their inflation rate is so high. They don’t have plans for more than three months because their political climate is unstable and they have elections coming up. There’s such a huge amount of economic instability, which was so interesting as it’s such a different market.”
Since the trip, Millie was selected for a “globalistas in action” conference at the end of August, run and funded again by YES and LA CAPE. She has also met with the CEO of Sharesies, who said she’d had contact with Argentina as a result of Millie’s group’s presentation.