The Young Enterprise Scheme is a year long competition that takes secondary school students through the process of beginning with a seed idea and trying to develop it into a functioning business. It’s not uncommon for teams who have done very well in the competition to continue on with their business outside of school, or to go on to start new ventures. One case is Jamie Beaton, who did YES in 2011 and founded Crimson Consulting which today is valued at a whopping $60 million!
As well as offering students a pathway into entrepreneurship and business, the competition accords the students a wide range of skills by the end of the year. “The best part about the YES is the independence, confidence, leadership and communication skills that the students learn. Its incredible watching them start at E-Day then seeing how much they grow during the year,” says Victoria Crawford-Flett, a YES project coordinator who came up from Wellington to help with the event.
The day started off with roughly 150 students in year 12 and 13 coming together from Manawatu. They formed small groups of around five, completing some team building exercises and challenges and were talked through an outline of what would go on in the year as well as what they might accomplish. The real fun began when teams spread out and began envisaging possible businesses they could develop in the year.
Some teams had one idea that they were adamant about focusing on, whilst others had three or four to decide between. A lot of them thought of some new ideas on the spot after hearing some examples of what people had done in past YES competitions, and others had already done some market research to validate their ideas. A team of mentors were brought in during the afternoon to talk to the teams and offer their own expertise, advice and experience to the mix. Ideas were everything from chocolate flavored cheese to multipurpose, fireproof gloves.
As the teams progress through the programme we hope to see some really exciting start-ups develop.
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