Tuesday, 05 March 2024 08:48

International Women's Day: Kōrero with Pascale Hyboud-Peron from Stand Tall

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This year for International Women’s Day we are sitting down with some wāhine founders at  Basestation to kōrero about their journey and learnings in setting up and running their own organisation. 

For this blog we’ve captured a conversation with Pascale Hyboud-Peron, founder and Momentum Generator (yes - that is her actual  job title!)  at Stand Tall, a Community Trust that creates the conditions for all youth to maximize their potential so that they can build the future they want to see. 

Having been established within the Bay of Plenty’s entrepreneurial scene for a while, Pascale saw the need to support local rangatahi in making their mark and so she set up Stand Tall back in 2022. 

Pascale’s connection to Basestation is pretty unique, she’s one of the original co-founders and  frequently hosts Stand Tall events at Basestation. She enjoys showcasing the space and the opportunities to connect with other residents here. 

As this year's theme for International Women’s Day is, invest in women: Accelerate Progress, we thought we’d jump straight in and ask: 

What, if any financial support did you get when you set up your business?

Pascale starts by saying “That’s an interesting question because when you set up a charitable trust it’s very similar to starting a business, you need to invest in things and people.” She goes on to share that she put $15,000 of her own money in to start. This helped her set up some basic marketing materials as well as a website. Once this was set up, she then went and talked to some local and national grant makers. Within a year - she got her money back on the initial investment she’d put in. She sees this as confirmation that the mahi and kaupapa she set up resonated and has allowed her to attract ongoing financial support and investment. 

The next question we asked was: 

Investment doesn’t need to be just financial - what other investment do you feel would accelerate the progress of your business?

Pascale shares that her main priority right now is to build a sustainable team. She’d like to be in a position where she could have full time permanent work for two to three years for two to three people.

 “This is what the organisation actually needs to be fully operational and these roles would be an opportunity to train more local young people into becoming community builders, and that would be in itself an investment for the future. So I would spend money on salaries because now we know where we need to deliver but, we just don't have enough capacity to respond to the need.”

As well as the importance of financial backing, Pascale knows that investment in time and community are equally important.

Having been in the Tauranga entrepreneurial scene for over a decade, Pascale has a strong and supportive network. She tells me “we (Stand Tall) are pretty good at bringing in support that we can wrap around teenagers and their business ideas.” . She sees time invested in rangatahi by businesses as being beneficial to all parties. Not only do young people gain insights, wisdom and connections with professionals,  industry also gains a greater understanding and learnings from the next generation. For example; how to attract and retain young talent, ultimately becoming more youth ready and overcoming some of the generational challenges they may have experienced. She often receives feedback from industry regarding their own experiences and learnings from the students they have interacted with. 

In forging ongoing relationships and interaction between business and junior talent, Pascale sees the potential for local junior talent to stay and not move away, which is the current trend. 

With more resource both financial and from local community, Pascale would want to focus on changing two things:

  1. The perception of young people and working in business.
  2. Ways to keep our young people here in the Bay of Plenty.

She’s aware everyone needs to work together to achieve this, it’s a long term commitment but with the potential to be game changing with vast economic and sustainable benefits to the region. 

Stand Tall is structured and run in a way that is partnership oriented - it does not stand in isolation. Though working together it means both Stand Tall and the organisations they work with get to understand and impact the ecosystem they work in. It’s through this meaningful and positive mahi that change can happen. 

The final question we asked was:

What advice would you give to other wahine who are thinking about setting up their own community trust?

Pascale pauses to think before answering the question, she then responds with a business analogy saying that when you’re setting up a new business, you need to know why - what problem you are trying to solve and for who. For a charitable organisation it’s different, but similar - you need to know the problem you want to solve is real. You need to look at the wider picture, is there anyone else who’s trying to solve the problem, or part of the problem? You need to fully understand the landscape before stepping in otherwise there might not be a need, or duplication. 

In the charity space there is also a limited amount of philanthropic, grant and sponsorship money available. You need to know what your unique point of passion is and why others would want to support you financially. Funding for charitable organisations is limited, so it is important to have a range of varied sources.

Pascale also encourages consideration around who else you will be bringing along on the journey with you. If you are setting up a charitable trust you will need a board of Trustees who are aligned with your kaupapa and will back you. Think about who your users or customers  are - who and where is the community you are serving and how do you connect with them . Consider who you will  be working alongside such as other partners and stakeholders in the community. 

Especially when you are starting out, don’t be afraid to ask your network for help or favors. This is also a good way to validate your mission and check in with what is needed. 

Pascale shares that the worry and concern about maintaining Stand Tall never really goes away. She’s never been complacent or taken for granted the ongoing support she receives, the network or change she is wanting to bring about. 

Bonus question we asked:

Why Stand Tall was set up to specifically focus on supporting rangatahi? 

Personally I always thought this was because in her early career Pascale was a teacher. I assumed that because she was familiar with youth and working alongside them in a school setting this is why she chose to focus on supporting this group. When we got down to it - her passion for youth goes above and beyond what I was expecting. 

She goes on to tell me her motivation for setting up Stand Tall was based on the belief that “we need to be way more explicit in our effort to grow our New Zealand economy beyond the primary industries, beyond the traditional professionals in an office, lawyer, accounts and so on.'' She is  concerned that, for young people, the future of work is abstract and not relatable. She feels that currently we are stuck in old systems and mindsets that are not equipped to support or grow the next generation. It’s paramount that our future  pipeline of talent is ready for this new world of work that will be heavily influenced by AI, automation and technology. 

Pascale also goes on to share that she is aware that not everyone is born equal and therefore not everyone has equal opportunities. Stand Tall seeks to at least level the playing field by giving support to each young person regardless of socioeconomic background, culture and circumstance. 

Being that this kōrero was focused on International Women’s day we also discussed how Stand Tall supported young wāhine. Pascale starts by saying, first and foremost, Stand Tall wants to ensure that they support young people to explore how they can be the best they can.  She also feels that Stand Tall has a unique opportunity to remove stereotypes or mindsets that entrepreneurship is a male space with the sole purpose to make money. 

Pascale has noted that a lot of the young wāhine she has worked with in the programme are focused on giving back to their communities. They often work in a more altruistic way - this is something we need to nurture and amplify when talking about entrepreneurship and startups. By role modeling women doing this work we can encourage other women into this space and ensure it is a safe space for them to grow and thrive.

To find out more about Stand Tall and the mahi they do with rangatahi, visit the website: standtall.nz



Read 707 times Last modified on Tuesday, 05 March 2024 08:59

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