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Tycoon game series teaches essential skills to run your own small business

26 Jul 2018

Want to find out what it would be like to be the next tech tycoon? A new interactive game series might just teach you the skills to walk that path.

A joint effort between the Ministry of Social Development, BNZ, Joy Business Academy, and Xero, SMEs now have the chance to immerse themselves in a virtual world that can help them create and operate their own business.

The Tycoon Game Series offers two separate games: Tech Tycoon, and Restaurant Tycoon. Both games are designed to challenge players to use the World Economic Forum’s 10 essential skills for future employment.

Those skills include business skills such as emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility, critical thinking, and creativity.

According to Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, the game provides a fun and engaging way for people to evolve the skills they need to start and manage their own business.

“Every year SMEs are constrained through a combination of external pressures, lack of business experience and commercial acumen. Recruitment, training and retention of good employees is cited as one of the most challenging aspects of businesses for this group,” Sepuloni adds.

Joy Business Academy developed the game to serve as a platform for small business education because the act of learning by doing provides the best learning outcome.

“The philosophy of the Tycoon Game series is to deliver the very best learning outcomes to the player of the game,” comments Joy Business Academy CEO James Coddington.

“By immersing the player in operating their own business in the virtual world, it is our hope that they will learn the necessary skills and understand how they can work with different partners or business advisors which can then be translated into operating their own SME business in the real world.”

Players earn badges for achieving certain milestones as they progress through the game. For example, they can earn badges by using the Xero platform within the game by paying wages, supplier invoices, or reconciling bank feeds.

Xero New Zealand managing director Craig Hudson says Xero wants to see small businesses succeed. As technology and jobs evolve, skills must evolve too.

“The Tycoon Series tackles the challenges associated with this change head on, addressing financial literacy and business evolution skills as players progress through the game. It’s a good reminder that regardless of whether you’re at high school or uni, or running your own business - investing in education, upskilling and training should always be a focus,” Hudson continues.

BNZ Partners chief customer officer Shelley Ruha adds that the game provides an environment where ambitious people can become entrepreneurs, make mistakes, and learn from them.

“It gives entrepreneurs and small business owners a valuable tool they can use to understand how to build their own partner ecosystems and learn the skills necessary to run a successful business. In the real world, that will help them make smarter decisions and reach their goals faster.”

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