One of the ways the Chamber contributes to a positive future for business in Otago is by co-ordinating the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES).
Students in Year 12-13 gaining first-hand business experience
The YES programme has been refreshed! The updated programme takes students through a series of entrepreneurial experiences to help develop 21st century skills in real-world situations by working to their strengths.
Students have the opportunity to set up their own company, create real products or services, compile and implement a business plan and make real profit or loss. Students learn and develop enterprising attributes through experiencing the value of innovative thinking. They will also learn about business planning and operations, develop a range of personal and business skills including skills in teamwork, communication, problem solving, negotiation, and decision making; and consult with and create networks in their community.
There is a $25,000 national prize pool as well as regional awards and cash prizes and tertiary scholarships. YES students have opportunities to attend national business competitions and events and maintain business networks through the YES alumni and business incubator programmes. All YES companies are eligible for competitions regardless of whether YES is being offered as a timetabled or extracurricular option.
YES and the Otago Chamber
Our Chamber based YES Regional Coordinators work with YES students throughout the school year. With the help of our supportive sponsors in 2018 we have been able to cover the registration fees for all Otago students, provide director workshops and are looking forward to hosting fantastic events with our Pitch Day and Regional Awards Ceremony!
Student participation reached new heights in 2019 with more than 149 students participating in the Otago region YES programme. We’re excited to be unleashing more enterprising young people than ever before!
The first half of 2019 saw YES students across the region nail their Kickstart|Tīmata Days as well as their Product Validation, Pitch and Promotion Challenges. With the second half of the year focused on Sales, Marketing and submitting their Annual Reviews. The standard of the teams this year has been high and the top four teams were chosen after all their marks from three Challenges, their Pitch Day presentation and their Annual Review were tallied by the YES Head office with the help of NZ Chartered Accountants.
All of our teams taking part in the YES program this year did an amazing job! We had so many fantastic ideas and products come to fruition, including: Environmentally friendly fire starters, a NZ trivia game; solid natural cologne; dried honey; a cookbook to support Red Cross and the refugee community; games and books to help support the learning of Te Reo; LED dog collars; solid shampoo bars; and handmade natural deodorant and charcoal toothpaste - just to name a few!
The culmination of a year’s hard work for the Young Enterprise students in Otago took place on Tuesday 15 October 2019 at the University of Otago Business School, with OAK Cologne from Otago Boys High taking away the Regional Champion title. They represented Otago at the National Awards in Wellington on the Wednesday 4 December alongside Educard NZ, also from Otago Boys. Educard were awarded National Excellence prizes for Financial Reporting and Sales and Marketing.
We are already looking forward to 2020 to see what the next round of YES students bring, with seven new schools joining us from around the region!
We couldn't do what we do without the incredible support of our teachers, mentors, advisers and sponsors. We want to share a little aroha and a big shout out for all of those, past and present, who have been part of the journey in some shape or form. Thank you, you're amazing.