The Central App

YES programme more popular in Central schools

The Central App

Anna Robb

02 July 2024, 5:45 PM

YES programme more popular in Central schoolsDunstan High School commerce teacher Conrad Herion with students at the mid year pitches for the Young Enterprise Scheme. PHOTO: Supplied

Twenty-five Central Lakes secondary school student teams braved the mid-year business pitch challenge for The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) in Cromwell recently. 

Students from Cromwell College (CC), Dunstan High School (DHS), Queenstown’s Liger Leadership Academy (LLA) and Wānaka’s Mt Aspiring College (MAC) presented their enterprise ideas to a panel of local business people at Highlands on June 19. 

Owner and director of The Central App Vicki McLean listened to the pitches as did Business South Central Otago (BSCO) chair Dewald de Beer, and financial services business FINDEX New Zealand partner and digital innovation leader Nigel Smellie.

Vicki said there were fantastic concepts pitched by the students, many of which would fly in the business world.

A wide range of ideas were presented including cherry products made from cherry seconds, calf muscle compression sleeves for sports performance and a tiny house model printed from plaster cement.

DHS students present their business idea. 

The session was sponsored by University of Otago’s Business School, and coordinated by Business South Inc.

More students across Otago are participating in YES 2024 than in previous years. There are 257 students in year 11 to 13 who have registered this year. 

The region has experienced many successes with YES at a national level having two national supreme winners and multiple finalists over the last five years.

Cromwell College students getting ready for their pitches. 

YES is an opportunity for senior secondary students to unleash their inner entrepreneur and experience the start-up world first-hand. 

It is an experiential programme where students set up and run a real business. Each YES company creates their own product or service and brings this to market through the course of the school year.

Students in the YES programme from Liger Leadership Academy. 

The YES year is broken up into five challenges including product validation, promotion, a dragon’s den style pitch, sales, and an end of year annual review.

This leads to a full picture learning experiences across different business avenues within the year.

YES companies can compete in the competition side of things, which see’s teams compete against other students in their region throughout the year.

A regional champion is then selected from a Dragon’s Den style pitch event who then competes at a national level, vying for the title of YES Company of the Year.

It is led by the Young Enterprise Trust who work with primary and secondary schools to foster these skills and attributes from a young age.

The trust has been operating since the early 1980s and works with more than 50,000 students a year.

Find out about YES here.

Read more: Central students band together for regional rockquest  

Read more: Central businesses to gain extra support

PHOTOS: Highlands/ Liger Leadership Academy/Supplied