Last night at a packed out event the Ministry for Social Development, Joy Business Academy, BNZ and Xero launched a really exciting new tool for those thinking about starting their own business – the Tycoon Game Series, comprising of Restaurant Tycoon and Tech Tycoon.
Both games provide an interactive experience allowing players to immerse themselves in creating their own businesses in a virtual world. They also challenge players to use what the World Economic Forum has identified as the 10 essential skills for future employment. Some of these skills include what you would expect – coordinating with others, people management and service orientation. Then we also have skills like emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility which were added to the 2020 list (from 2015). Finally, skills like critical thinking and creativity have been bumped higher up the list, acknowledging the essential role they play in business.
According to the Minister for Social Development, Hon. Carmel Sepuloni, the game reinforces the evolution in skills required to start and manage your own business but it also educates them about Ministry’s employment related products in a fun and engaging way.
“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 and where MSD showcases talent and the considerable assistance that can be offered when employing our clients.”
Our involvement focuses on providing players with access to a real life platform within the virtual environment. For example, players can earn badges and pass milestones based on how well they do in different scenarios. Some scenarios are built around the Xero platform – from paying supplier invoices or staff wages, to reconciling bank feeds.
We wanted to support the Tycoon Game Series for two reasons. In the first instance, we are passionate about the success of small businesses. We want to do all we can to support the sector that serves as the engine room for the Kiwi economy.
Secondly, we know that as technology advances and job roles evolve, there will be a change in the skills required in the future. The Tycoon Series tackles the challenges associated with this change head on. It addresses 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.
Anything that combines these two things, with the aim of ultimately building a stronger NZ Inc., is something we can get behind.
Check out the game and keep an eye out for special Xero partner and customer offers so you can play for free!