Young Enterprise Scheme - Nelson, Tasman Marlborough

The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (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. 

YES is an opportunity for 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. 

Throughout the year long program students complete 4 Challenges, Validation, The Mid Year Pitch, Promotion & Sales and then submit their Annual Review. There are events and other learning opportunities as part of the program.

Our first event for the year is Kickstart I Timata a speed coaching session involving students, motivational speakers and local business people who act as speed coaches.

Students compete regionally and nationally. See video from the 2021 regional final night Click Here

See Nelson Marlborough YES Highlights magazines here 2023 Highlights  2022 Highlights  2021 Highlights

Follow us on Instagram @yesnelsonmarlborough

There are several ways you could help out throughout the year.  We need advisors, judges, sponsors and business mentors.


To meet with a 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

The success of the YES program is reliant on the involvement of the local business community. If you would like to become a mentor contact 

2023 Regional Winners - Fruitbay Sorbet - Waimea College

2023 Award Winners 

Best Annual Review Award – Who is She? Marlborough Girls College. Temiah Cyster, Charlie Richmond, Abby Sandell, Danista Gurovich and Hannah Bain
Creativity Award – Kawaii Loops, Marlborough Girls College. Emma Robinson and Kayley Hutchison.
Innovation Award – Off Your Face – Marlborough Girls College. Jayd Dobbs, Katie Hedgman and Siobhan Tantrum
Environmental Award – Fruitbay Sorbet, Waimea College. Lianna Godwin, Sebastian Davey, Isla Anderson and Lexie Griffith.

2022 Regional Winners - Olivae - Waimea College

2022 Finalists

Rizer - Nayland College, Tony Kim, Amos Lian, Andrew Maddock, Reuben Scragg
Olivae - Waimea College, Lani Adamson, Esther Gould, Alysha Mutch, Olivia Parsons, Lily-Rose Phorn, Lily-Anne Watts, Jessica York
Kai Clips - Nelson College for Girls, Isabella Wentzell, Eden Carter
Only Popcorn – Nayland College, Analise Neame, Lucy Bell, Seth Buckley, Tayte Hunwick, Sven Teece
Speak it Up – Nelson College, Jack Franklin, Austin Candlish, Ollie Martin

Regional Winners 2021 - Three Bays Jellies - Waimea College

Teacher Andrea Phillips, Sophie Calder CFO, Nicole Byrman, Marketing Comms & Sales, Jared Peterson Production & Sales, Sam McDonald CEO and Robyn Patterson Mentor.

Throughout this YES journey we have developed our knowledge on the horticulture and business industry. Through the process of creating our product and YES program we have gained a better understanding on how to start a business, and the processes we have to go through doing this. The production side was a struggle for our team, jumping through constant hoops regarding health and safety to get the best product out to consumers. Despite this we have had constant support through our Mentor Robyn Patterson from GoHort NZ, Lou Smith from Pics Peanut Butter, teachers and other people within this industry. We would like to thank these people for all the support they have given us.

2021 - Regional Awards

Environmental Award - Sun Stitch from Nayland College

Best Annual Review Award - Seedlings Collection from Nayland College

Connect and Collaborate Award - Outta the Box from Nelson College for Girls

Creativity Award - HYP'D from Marlborough Girls College

Innovation Award - Three Bays Jellies from Waimea College

See video from the Regional Final night Click Here

YES 2020 Pitch Session in June 2020

In October 2020 the top four scoring teams competed at the regional final pitch in front of a panel of judges, the finalists were;

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

Regional Winners 2020!!  Pathways to Primary from Waimea College

The success of the YES program is reliant on the involvement of the local business community.
If you would like to know more about how you could support this valuable scheme contact us. or 021 682 237