Young Enterprise Scheme

Young Enterprise Scheme

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!


See how YES works


Find out about the benefits of being a YES mentor:


Young Enterprise Trust - "inspiring, educating and transforming students through enterprise experiences"


2020 Young Enterprise Scheme

The 2020 Otago YES programme was a huge success.  Our regional winners, Abalro from Bayfield High, competed in the National Finals and were awarded the status of runners up in the competition.  Read all about their success in the article from the ODT on (front page news none-the-less) - their CEO was also interviewed on Radio New Zealand (listen to the interview here). We are all enormously proud of their success.

Albaro Team at the YES finals in Wellington

The changes to their learning environments did not deter YES students in 2020 with over 4000 students signing up for the programme nationwide.  In Otago we had a 5% increase in numbers from 2019 and 4 new schools join the program for 2020.

36 teams of Year 12-13 students covering South Otago, Central Otago, North Otago and Dunedin participated in the Otago YES programme in 2020.  Whilst we weren't able to run some of the events that would normally be part of the YES programme, such as the CEO days or marketplace, our students worked hard and came up with some amazing products/businesses.  The 2020 range of products included: honey; oat milk; lip balm; educational card games; pilates instructional cards; COVID-19 souvenir mugs and lawn moving services.

The culmination of a year’s hard work for the Young Enterprise students came down to six teams at the regional finals in November.  

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The full list of regional winners announced were:

  • University of Otago Business School Regional Company of the Year – Abalro, Bayfield High School
  • Craig’s Investment Partners Best Annual Review – Pete’s Bees, Maniototo Area School and Abalro, Bayfield High School
  • Kiwibank Best Financial Performance – EduCard NZ, Otago Boys High School
  • University of Otago Business School Marketing Award – Dove Ambition, Columba College
  • Polson Higgs Sales Performance Award – Whitu, Otago Boys High School
  • Otago Chamber of Commerce Community Impact – Pete’s Bees, Maniototo Area School
  • Otago Polytechnic Leadership Award – Gabrielle Bird, Dove Ambition, Columba High School

It is exciting to see what 2021 will hold for our YES programme - we love the innovation and inspiration that comes from the students and their teachers.

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.

Call Cara Bradley on 03 479 0181  | email |

YES 2020 Sponsors