The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme

Building a pipeline of entrepreneurial-minded young people who will boost the prosperity in New Zealand.

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 on behalf of the Young Enterprise Trust.

The YES journey

YES takes Year 12 and 13 students through a series of authentic real-world entrepreneurial experiences to help young people to thrive in business and in life.

Students form a YES business at the start of the school year, create their own unique product or service 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.

Our goal is to inspire students to be innovative and creative, develop work-ready skills and an entrepreneurial spirit. The impact YES has for students includes:

  • Gain entrepreneurial skills
  • Improved communication skills
  • Increased confidence and self-belief
  • Increased understanding of business
  • Improved teamwork
  • Improved problem solving and decision making
  • Improved leadership
  • Increased resilience and well-being
  • Increased independence
  • Increased creativity
  • Increased motivation and engagement
  • Less fear of failure and risk taking
  • Improved emotional intelligence.

Click here to learn more about YES.

2020 Calendar - Southland

Kick Start | Timata Conference

  • Invercargill Monday, 2 March
  • Cromwell Tuesday, 3 March

The Pitch

  • Invercargill Wednesday, 24 June
  • Cromwell Friday, 19 June

Southland Regional Final and Awards

National Final and Awards Dinner

  • Wellington - To be confirmed

Want to get involved? Join the Young Enterprise family

The Chamber has been involved in the YES programme since 1990, through the vision and dedication of Colin Smith. To find out how you can get involved click here, visit ”Get Involved” on Young Enterprise website 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 October 2019

Regional Finals and Awards 2019

Well done to all the YES businesses who were a finalist at the recent Southland Regional YES Finals - Alpine Mt Aspiring College, CountrySide Colouring Menzies College, Head First James Hargest College, Herb-Box Southland Boys’ High School, Mystery Muffin Southland Boys’ High School, Sapo Soap Mt Aspiring College, Share the Love Aparima College, Toast Aparima College.


  • Award for Social Enterprise sponsored by South Port NZ Ltd - Head First, James Hargest College
  • Award for Environmental Sustainability sponsored by Environment Southland - Eco Essence, Mount Aspiring College
  • Award for Sales & Marketing sponsored by Craigs Design & Print - Berzelius, Mount Aspiring College
  • Award for Tourism sponsored by What’s On Invers - Reuse & Recycle, Southland Boys’ High School
  • Award for Solving a Development Problem sponsored by Westpac - Alpine Earthquake Kit, Mount Aspiring College
  • Award for Innovation sponsored by Findex - Sapo Soap, Mt Aspiring College


  • Young Enterpriser of the Year sponsored by Community Trust South - Kavarn Pettigrew, Southland Boys’ High School
  • Colin Smith Memorial Award - Dave Anderson, Westpac


  • 2019 Regional Champion – Head First, James Hargest College
  • Runner Up - Countryside Colouring, Menzies College
  • 3rd place - Alpine Earthquake Kit, Mount Aspiring College

Click here to read more, and to view this winning business pitch, and all the photos join our private YES Facebook Group.