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 for 2021 was the Kickstart I Timata a speed coaching session involving 330 students and 80 local business people, due to Covid level 2 we went online with this event and it was amazing to see how flexible students and business coaches were to adapt to the environment.  

There are other ways you could help out throughout the year long program.  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

Throughout the year long program students complete 5 Challenges, Validation, The Pitch, Promotion, Sales and then submit their Annual Review.

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