By DAVID HARRIS.
It’s Thursday evening on Wellington’s bustling waterfront and one of the most exciting New Zealand social and environmental entrepreneurship programmes is coming to a close for another year.
The Live the Dream programme is the brainchild of Guy Ryan and aims to help young Kiwis who want to make a positive impact on Aotearoa. Tonight is the final showcase, where the teams involved give their final pitches and try to attract investors to their cause.
For this tireless work and truly inspiring attitude of helping others, Guy Ryan just won the highly coveted Young New Zealander of the Year Award.
Live the Dream is a ten-week summer programme that aims to help young entrepreneurs bring their visions for a better New Zealand to life. Specifically, Live the Dream looks for a certain kind of person, someone who can see problems in their society or environment, and who want to do something about it. These people then use entrepreneurial principles to create and manage a business venture that brings about the social and environmental change they desire.
When we spoke to Guy Ryan, he told us about how when he first started out he was aiming for profit, but over time realised there were more important things to focus on.
“I became more and more interested in the idea of social entrepreneurship and enterprise, and felt the best way to learn was to dive right in.”
This sort of business, one which generates income but also provides social and environmental benefits is called a social enterprise. All over the world, governments are realising the benefits of these ventures and here in New Zealand, in February 2014 the government gave $1.27 million to the cause.
In fact, at the end of the final showcase, youth minister Nikki Kaye pledged to commit a further $500,000 to the Inspiring Stories Trust. This money will go on to help those taking part in the Live the Dream programme.
Live the Dream this year saw 18 teams in total (9 in Wellington and 9 in Auckland) take part. But this is not a competition; it’s a place where people with ambition and good ideas can come together with experts from various fields, to develop and hone the skills they will need to be successful. It is a training programme, preparing the next wave of young social entrepreneurs for a successful future.
“Our work gives young people access to some of New Zealand’s most brilliant minds to understand these complexities, and grow ideas that can make a real difference,” says Guy.
Not only this, but the programme’s popularity attracts experts who are only too eager to share their knowledge, investors who are keen to see where their money may be going, and organisations like TEARAWAY who want to be the first to show the public the exciting new ideas.
With 18 different teams taking part, there was a wide variety of ideas on offer. One of the competitors, Bart de Vries confidently and enthusiastically pitched his Live the Dream idea; he has created a social fitness event app called Bust a Move.
Bart’s idea is simple; an app that tells you about fun, free fitness events that are happening in your local area. We had a quick chat with Bart to find out a bit more about his inspiration and plans. Check out his interview here.
Another exciting venture is Evergreen, which aims to get more exposure for homegrown New Zealand artists. The idea is to create a record label that focuses on getting this music into retail spaces, benefitting the artist as well as boosting the publicity for New Zealand music in general. If successful, it is thought this simple idea could help direct up to $5 million towards Kiwi artists.
These are just two wonderful ventures. For the full list of innovative business ideas on offer, check out the Live the Dream website.
Live the Dream is the ideal way for young Kiwis – who have an idea and the ambition to change the world around them for the better – to get the advice and help they need to turn their dreams into reality.
By combining the need for social change with the world’s need for economic success, this programme really represents a giant leap in how we as individuals change the world around us. The hope is that by getting young people involved now, with the amount of support being offered here, they will then be able to come back and help more youth in the future.
A sustainable programme aimed at helping passionate young Kiwis to get their ideas off the ground, and as a result change New Zealand for the better – what’s not to love?
If you have a great idea that could improve Aotearoa, and you feel inspired to make a difference, then check out the Live the Dream for more details about how you can get involved with this amazing programme.
Bust a Move: Exercise Made Fun
RUTH BARNARD spoke to Bart de Vries, one of this year’s participants, about his idea, Bust a Move, an app that tells you about fun, free fitness events that are happening in your local area.
What inspired you to start Bust a Move?
I have been a physio for seven years and seeing the impact declining health is having on people made me want to do more. So I started giving free 20-minute Boosts (movement sessions) out in front of parliament every lunch time since start of November to help people move and figure out how to make it easier for them. I then realised that there was a heap of community and professional physical activities people could do, but people didn’t realise they were out there and counted as activity… like salsa lessons, community beginner mountain biking groups, walks or even laser tag. So much fun to be had!
What has been the biggest lesson you have learnt at Live the Dream?
There are a lot of people that care about where the world’s going and how people are in it. It is very positive.
How will Bust a Move make its money?
Professional physical activity providers (like salsa studios, martial arts clubs, as well as gyms or personal trainers) will pay a monthly subscription fee to be visible on the app.
What is Bust a Move’s target Audience?
People in the city who want to be active, but need it to be convenient and timely and enjoyable.
How long will it be until we can have Bust a Move on our phones in Welly?
5 to 7 months for the app, but the newsletter is up and running for people to hear about all the fun to be had and ways to get out with mates and get moving.
What are the benefits of Bust a Move for society and for the individual?
A shift in culture towards more time being spent with friends and community, having fun and moving.
How can people help out and get involved?
Sign up to the newsletter http://signup.bustamove.co.nz/
Like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter 🙂 @gobustamove