Young Enterprise Scheme

One of the ways the Chamber contributes to a positive future for business in Southland is by co-ordinating the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES).

Students in Year 12-13 gaining first-hand business experience

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

Students have the opportunity to set up their own company, create real products or services, compile and implement a business plan and make real profit or loss. Students learn and develop enterprising attributes through experiencing the value of innovative thinking. They will also learn about business planning and operations, develop a range of personal and business skills including skills in teamwork, communication, problem solving, negotiation, and decision making; and consult with and create networks in their community.


There is a $25,000 national prize pool as well as regional awards and cash prizes and tertiary scholarships. YES students have opportunities to attend national business competitions and events and maintain business networks through the YES alumni and business incubator programmes. All YES companies are eligible for competitions regardless of whether YES is being offered as a timetabled or extracurricular option.

YES programme in Southland

The Chamber started the YES programme in 1990 through the vision and dedication of Colin Smith.

The YES programme has since expanded to include technology classes in a programme called Enterprising Technology and from 2011, Play it Strange and Young Enterprise Trust combined the production of an original song album with the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme.

YES Resources

Regional Partner

Regional Sponsors

Community Funding and Other Partners

Past Events

11 May 2015

The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme Dragon’s Den Pitch’s

Southland Chamber of Commerce

The chance to pitch your business plan to local business leaders while competing for up to $2,000 in cash will be a dream come true for the 140 Southland secondary students who are completing The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) this year.

Students represent James Hargest College, Southland Girls’ High School, Verdon College, Southland Boys’ High School, Mt Aspiring College and Aparima College.

Southland Young Enterprise Co-ordinator, Mrs Joanne O’Connor, said in Southland, the programme is proudly co-ordinated by the Chamber of Commerce Southland, as part of their focus on business innovation and we are looking forward to hearing this year’s business ‘pitches’. The day is the first part of our competition to see who will represent Southland at the national competition and awards later in the year”.

YES is an incredible learning experience for students and helps foster a positive and innovative business community for the future. The programme gives students an opportunity to develop their passion into a possible career choice. They set up their own company, create real products/services, earn real money, pay tax and hopefully keep profits - it’s not just an academic course, but also a relevant and exciting journey.