by Helen Holt
A group of young entrepreneurs are paying more than lip service to saving the planet.
Lip balm company Ecobase is a finalist for Start-up of the year at the Young Enterprise Scheme Alumni Awards.
Ecobase was started last year by former Timaru Boys’ High pupils Mackenzie Annett, Josh Earnshaw, Jack Blakemore and Hamish Stayt.
The team created a lip balm with biodegradable packaging as part of the school’s young enterprise scheme.
The awards will be held this weekend in Wellington which will be attended by the company’s chief marketing and sales director Mr Annett.
Chief executive Mr Earnshaw said he was stoked that they made the final.
“It was a bit of a shock. We didn’t think we had a chance, but then we made the top three.”
He said they were inspired to make a lip balm that was gender neutral and environmentally friendly.
“The environment is a big passion of ours. We were aware that businesses have a big part to play. We noticed that basically all lip balms come in plastic so we thought we would create a lip balm that was biodegradable.
“We also noticed as a boys’ school, most lip balms are targeted as a girls’ product, even though boys use it as well. So we wanted to create something gender neutral.”
The product has since been sold in more than 22 locations in the South Island.
Mr Earnshaw said he hopes to expand the business to the rest of the country.
The team members are all at university, three at the University of Canterbury, and one at Lincoln University.