Quenching a healthy need

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The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme is giving years 12 and 13 pupils the chance to set up and run their own business for a year. Yes pupils will create real products or services, compile and implement a business plan and make real profit or loss. In this continuing series, reporter DAVID BECK takes a look at some of their business ideas.

Queen’s High School young enterprise team Water Quenchers is providing a healthy alternative to fizzy and energy drinks.
Chief executive and financial director Abbey Perkins (16) said the group had created sugar-free flavoured water to be used by school pupils in place ofunhealthy drinks.
Creating a product that tasted good but was healthy took a lot of trial and error, she said.
‘‘It took us a while, but now we have a product that is good enough to sell. We wanted to make sure people enjoy it.’’
The group’s mentor is Wests director Alf Loretan, who is also selling the water in his store across the road from the school.
‘‘We’re running a competition. Every time someone buys a bottle they go in the draw to win a Wests voucher,’’ Abbey said.
Using a competition to draw in customers to try the new product was something the girls had learnt about during their business studies.
‘‘We have three flavours, mango orange, raspberry and lemon and lime. Everyone seems to be enjoying them, quite a few have gone back for more.’’
While presenting the product during the Dragons Den section of the programme, the group analysed the negative effects of young people drinking, and becoming addicted to, sugary drinks.
‘‘The next step is bringing the product into schools. We’ve emailed all the schools in Dunedin, promoting our product and showing what they can get. We’re also going to have a product launch in the school holidays. It will be a fair-type event at school for younger kids, to help promote the product.’’
The key to a successful business was good communication and full participation by the whole group, she said.