As many of you know I have been working through the Young Enterprise Scheme this year with my business Purpose Swimwear.
Because of the drive I have for my project I managed to make it to the Young Enterprise Regional Finals on Friday the 25th of October. Before the event I had a week to prep a pitch and presentation that would summarise all my work, challenges, accomplishments and the whole brand idea in general.
I was lucky enough to get some support from Madi Barnett. She worked with me for a day and helped me to finalise and tweak my pitch. The support young enterprise offers us as members of the scheme is one of my favourite things. Everyone is always so willing to help and push us towards the next goal and challenge.
On the night I was shaking from the moment I exited my car and started walking up towards the B:Hive. As soon as I entered the building the tension rose even higher as I started to see all of the competition and teams leading towards a meeting/presentation room decorated with balloons and Young Enterprise banners.
I was the sixth pitch. I had time to listen to the competitors and calm down my nerves, but soon enough it was my turn. I was given a mic and a supportive and reassuring nod from Madi as I walked up to present.
Once I started, my nerves really kicked in. My hands were shaking and I stumbled over my first couple sentences. But once I realised this is my business, my baby, everything I have been working on I got it together and completed the rest of my pitch with the confidence I hope girls will feel when they wear my bikinis.
All 8 groups pitched and we were met with a break where the judges debated who would be the winner of the North Auckland Young Enterprise Regional Finals.
During the prize giving there were 3 types of awards:
Regional Awards - For categories like: best stall, sustainability, innovation etc.
National Excellence - For 13 prizewinners who will be flown to Wellington/Nationals to receive the award.
Regional Winner - The winner of the pitch and presentation on the night who will be flown to Wellington to pitch against the other Regional winners and then attend nationals to find out the results.
It was one of those nights where I was really reminded how much I have worked.
How many: late nights, skipped parties, tears, phone calls, interviews and planning.
How much: stress and support and opportunities and drive.
How every single decision I had made had led me to this point.
I couldn't have been more proud - as I received the Regional Award for 'One to Watch', a National Excellence award which I will receive in Wellington and WON the North Auckland Regional Finals.
It's moments like this. When it's acknowledged. When the shock of me working by myself has rubbed off and people spend the time to hear about what I am doing. When I realise just how happy and excited I am about how far I have come and how far I still plan to go.
I can't wait til nationals and I am both excited and nervous to start the prep and all the work I need to put in to be proud of myself after this next challenge as well.