Young Enterprise Awards

The Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) is a year long competition for secondary school students, that takes them through the process of taking a seed idea and trying to develop it into a functioning business. Young Enterprise Trust has been running Young Enterprise competitions around New Zealand for 34 years and BCC is the Regional Coordinator for Manawatu, Whanganui and Horowhenua Regions.

This year 28 teams, each made of around five members, took part in the competition and were helped along the way on their path to finals by BCC’s Regional Coordinator, Richard Dryden. The year kicked off with E-day, where all schools, teachers and mentors met. Events throughout the year included, Dragon’s Den where students pitched their business to a panel of local judges followed by a trade fair held at the Plaza here in Palmerston North where the students showcased and sold their products. BCC also ran various marketing and business workshops throughout the process to support the students. The YES year ended with an awards ceremony to announce the competition winners on the 29th of October.

“I love what the competition actually enables the youth to do. It lets them see what it takes to bring a product from a seed idea all the way through to the market, and deal with all the humps in the road along the way. The competition helps them learn about themselves and working in groups, and how to come out of failures having learned something valuable from them,” says Dryden.

Seventy buzzing students showed up to the Thursday evening ceremony, excited to see if they would be taking home any awards and who would represent the region at the finals. After milling around in their costumes (the night was Halloween themed) and eating burgers and popcorn for half an hour the ceremony got underway, starting with a short TED Talk and addresses from some key speakers. In concert with Dryden’s comment, the central message coming out of it seemed to be the importance of learning from failure, and their ability to bounce back and learn from this.

Third Place went to Body Coffee, from Palmerston North Girls High. Their product took recycled coffee grounds and other natural ingredients and turned them into a selection of body and lip scrubs. “”It’s designed to nourish the skin, it’s like an exfoliating body scrub, so we’ve got cocoa, sugar, recycled coffee beans and coconut oil. We want to make a range of flavours and things,” say the three girls.

Second Place & BCC Choice Award: BeanStalk Coffee, from Palmerston North Boys High, started their business as a social enterprise by importing their coffee beans from Ethiopia through Trade Aid and giving all of their profits back to the education system in Ethiopia. “They overcame a multitude of hurdles, really identified how to go about the business, worked hard and in the end had quite a slick and well organised business,” says Dryden.

Regional Winners: Generation Zedd from Rangitikei College will go on represent Manawatu at the national finals with their marketing consultancy business. The team focused on market research for firms trying to target teenagers their own age, using techniques like running focus groups. Generation Zedd has secured five different clients, to help them test their advertising campaigns for teenagers.

To follow next years YES competition click here.

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