Young Enterprise Scheme (or YES)

YES grew out of an initiative started by the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce back in the late 1970s and aims to inspire young people to discover their potential in business and in life. 

Our first event was -  Kickstart I Timata a session held in Marlborough and one in Nelson in February.

A big thank you to the 75 local business people who volunteered their time to coach 310 college students.
Coaches tell us they were impressed with some of the students ideas and that they personally found the whole experience enjoyable and interesting.

In June the YES companies delivered their mid year pitch (a dragons den session) to a panel of judges and were marked on their business Idea, Marketing, Innovation, Production and Finance development. 

In October the top four scoring teams for the year long program were announced, they will compete at the regional final pitch where a panel of judges will award the 2020 winning team, the finalists are;

Attyr – Nayland College  - sandals made from recycled tyres
Knotted – Nelson College for Girls – recycled fabric headwear and masks
Pathways to Primary – Waimea College – a card game to raise awareness of jobs in primary industries
Natures Hands – Marlborough Girls College – serving boards made from recycled wood

Young Enterprise Regional Final Event
Date: Thursday 29 October
Time: 5.30pm till 8pm
Venue: Nelson Centre of Musical Arts, 48 Nile Street, Nelson
Click here to register


The success of the YES program is reliant on the involvement of the local business community. Would you be able to spare some time to help out?

Email if you would like to know more about how you could support this valuable scheme, see outline below about becoming a mentor.


Meet with YES student company fortnightly over 3 terms, (for around two hours or whatever is agreed on)
Advise, support and guide the students.

Many YES students will have little or no previous business knowledge before participating in the programme. Through your own knowledge and personal experience, you will guide the students through the business process and ensure they remain motivated and on task. While this can be a seven-month commitment, meeting times will vary depending on schedules and the time of year. Previous mentors and students say that meeting once a fortnight worked well for them, although this may be weekly at the start of the programme. Your involvement with the students brings this programme to life and transforms it from a class-based project into a real-world experience. The biggest asset is your experience so don’t be afraid to use this to challenge the students’ thinking.

Requirements of a YES company mentor 

• Engage and challenge the students to help them make sound decisions

• Express business strategies and processes in a way that students can understand

• Act as a sounding board for the YES company

• Provide practical advice on product development, marketing etc, or help to find expertise

• Be available for the students to contact with questions

• Be able to work at the students’ pace