The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme

Helping to create tomorrow’s entrepreneurs today!

One of the ways the Chamber contributes to a positive future for business is by delivering The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) across Southland and the Lakes District on behalf of the Young Enterprise Trust.

The Chamber has been involved in the YES programme since 1990, through the vision and dedication of Colin Smith. The YES programme encourages innovation and provides foundation business skills for the next generation of business leaders.

The YES journey

The YES programme has been refreshed! The updated programme takes Year 12 and 13 students through a series of entrepreneurial experiences to help develop 21st century skills in real-world situations by working to their strengths.

The students create their own unique product or service, form a YES business at the start of the school year, and take it to market. Throughout the year they attend events that mirror the process start-up businesses go through – including developing business and marketing plans; and receiving guidance and mentoring from business people. Click here to learn more about YES.

Want to get involved? Join the Young Enterprise family

To find out how you can get involved click here or contact Joanne O’Connor, YES Regional Coordinator by emailing

See how YES works

Regional Partner

Regional Sponsors

Community Funding and Other Partners

Past Events

25 May 2018

Business Pitches

Southland Chamber of Commerce

In May 2018, seventeen Young Enterprise businesses pitched their business idea to local business leaders in both Invercargill and Wanaka.

Ideas included maker kits for kids, possum beanies, mental health web support, dog care kits, clothing, skateboard lessons, Wanaka tea towels, ‘Dusty Sunday’ jumpers, t-shirts, a supermarket app, fundraising for families affected by cancer, event planning and ‘6 in 1’ supermarket bags.

Colin Kennedy aka Dr Yes, Head of YES at Young Enterprise Trust said “students smashed it! The teams all brought a strong sense of both manaakitanga and kaitiakitanga. Awesome work everyone”

We look forward to watching these businesses develop and move into the marketing and sales phrase.

To keep up to date on YES information and events for the Southland region, join our Facebook Group –