With the evolution of ‘NZ (Inc)’ there has also been an evolution in the delivery of commerce at Craighead. Across all three NCEA levels the School has embraced exposing the students to the wide range of activities within the commerce framework: accounting, economic theory, exporting, finance, human resourcing, marketing, business management, production development and the value chain.

There has been a drive to take the students out of the classroom, making learning contextual by tapping into the wealth of success South Canterbury businesses enjoy, particularly in the agricultural and primary industries.

Part of this new approach was the Level 3 Commerce visit to the award winning Viberi in Pleasant Point last week. As entrepreneurial primary producers working with blackcurrants, Tony and Afsaneh Howey shared their story of innovation with the students, their identification of natural resources and the way in which they wanted to reorientate blackcurrants in consumer consciousness highlighting its immense health benefits.

In addition to sampling the incredibly tasty merchandise (with permission from the business) the students now assume the role of in-house market researchers and explore, identify and evaluate a prospective export market for their products. In their feasibility study, the students will need to assess the validity of the market in terms of achieving financial targets and broader strategic goals and make recommendations as to the approach. The benefits of such study are farther reaching than just credits. The students gain an understanding of the process of exporting, the hoops and regulations that are required but above the fact that SMEs from rural New Zealand can participate in the world economy and, as young entrepreneurs, they have the confidence to follow their business big ideas.

Craighead thanks those organisations like Viberi who have made themselves available to further our students’ understanding of commerce. We are always on the lookout for businesses who have a story to share and would proudly show our students around their organisation and expand their understanding. If you would like to participate in the education of Craighead students in this way please contact Jayne McNaught at mcnaughtja@craighead.school.nz .