That’s certainly the case for two Cantabrians who sought to make the world a better place through their ventures on the Live the Dream programme, who are jetting off to Silicon Valley in June for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. April McLennan, 18, and Robbie McGregor, 30, have both been blown away by what has come their way since completing Live the Dream.
“I’ve never actually left the country – when I found out I’d been selected for the GES, within a day I’d made my application for a passport and started getting ready to head on over.” says Robbie. “All the opportunities start to compound on each other; one things leads to another, leads to another.
“Another cool thing is that in Christchurch there’s a close knit community [of changemakers] because we’ve gone through an experience that’s quite unique with the earthquakes, it brings people together in a way.”
Robbie is wrapping up his engineering degree at Ara Institute of Canterbury and working on his social enterprise, Clarity, which aims to teach financial literacy and well-being to young people.
“There are a few gaps in the education system. Some schools teach financial literacy and teach it well, but it’s optional. I think it’s really important, it’s giving people a head start and avoidingsome pitfalls people fall into at a young age.”
Despite having no financial training, Robbie has picked up a good number of tips and tricks throughout life.
“There’s simple stuff that goes a long way if you know it at the get-go: the effect of debt and credit cards, personal loans, the different ways that interest works for and against you. The way I look at it, these things apply to everyone, you might be an engineer, a taxi driver, a doctor, whatever you are, we all have to pay our bills and get by.”
April, who has just finished her final year of high school as a homeschooler, is excited to see what she can learn at the Summit to bring back and apply to her venture, Limitless. “We’re a charitable trust now and we’ve got some really good people on our board of trustees. At this stage I’m focusing on Limitless rather than going to university, although I haven’t ruled that out if there’s something that interests me or is relevant to my career.” The vision of Limitless is to equip every young New Zealander to lead a life of passion and purpose, by helping to connect their strengths and interests to a career. “You’re going to work 80,000 hours in your life, it’s amazing to think about what you’re going to do in that time. When you talk to adults and you say that they’re like ‘isn’t it terrible?’. I don’t want to have that attitude about my work; I want to do something I love and I’m pretty sure that’s what everyone wants,” says April. April is working on a video to showcase people with passion for their jobs, as well as an event for young people around Year 10 to learn about fulfilling careers. So Robbie and April are off to rub shoulders with thousands of entrepreneurs from around the world, and also this guy will be attending, we guess that’s pretty neat…