Momentum Waikato is very grateful to Deloitte NZ for their ongoing generosity. We asked the team to share a little bit about the company and some of the projects they support in the Waikato, including the inspirational Deloitte GROW programme.

Melissa Youngson, Deloitte Audit Partner

Deloitte is focused on supporting our local communities by making material contributions towards solving serious social issues.

Deloitte GROW is a future-focused entrepreneurial youth programme, developed in-house and delivered in partnership with the Graeme Dingle Foundation. It offers our people opportunities to use their business skills to empower Year 11 and 12 students to think differently about how they can grow money. By providing meaningful education opportunities, challenging the dependency paradigm and broadening students’ options, we hope to sow the seeds for a more inclusive and diverse workforce in New Zealand.

In 2016 (the first year of our national roll-out), Deloitte GROW was offered in 10 lower-decile schools, including Fairfield and Melville High schools in the Hamilton area. Some of our clients participate by speaking to the students about life as an entrepreneur; this is one of the most popular parts of the programme.

After the theory, there is the “challenge” - to work in a small group with a small sum of seed money and grow it over 4 weeks. This first year provided several examples of “where the magic happens”. A team of young men from Melville High were excited to take the opportunity to learn woodwork skills. A father of one of the students taught them how to create chopping boards, and an iPad/recipe book holder. They were able to negotiate access to rimu to produce a number of items to raffle off. After a successful challenge, they are continuing the creation and sale of their products. Other students have signed up for Kiwisaver; or are opening bank accounts for the first time.

“As a firm, we are excited about the chance to not only provide our people with meaningful skilled volunteer opportunities, but to make an impact that matters to the communities where we live and work”, said Melissa Youngson, a Deloitte Audit Partner.