Auckland teams have enjoyed success in the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme’s (YES) 2015 national awards held in Wellington on 9 December, claiming first and third place in the Company of the Year section and winning five National Excellence Awards.
The nationwide YES programme – delivered in Auckland by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) on behalf of the Young Enterprise Trust – calls on students to form teams, create real-life business products and services, and run their business for a year.
Strong placing in Company of the Year
A Brilliant Signature from Pakuranga College was named the YES national Company of the Year for 2015, winning the top prize for its innovative personal signature design service.
Recognising that many people struggle to create a good personal signature, A Brilliant Signature provides customers with three different signature designs, and a slow motion video of each signature and trace paper so customers can practice their preferred design.
The company has sold its product to customers in New Zealand, Australia and Singapore.
O’LeLei-Yo from Henderson High School finished in joint third place in the Company of the Year section, creating what it believes is New Zealand's first almond milk yoghurt.
Five Auckland YES teams or individuals also received National Excellence Awards for their performance in a range of categories:
- ID Tech (Northcote College), Award for Excellence in Operations
- Matai Nonu (Aorere College), Award for Excellence in Pasifika Business
- Let Them Fish (Kings College), Award for Excellence in Social Enterprise
- Rad Road Signs (Waiuku College), Award for Excellence in Sales and Marketing
- Michelle Feng (Rangitoto College), Young Entrepreneur Scholar Award.
Students enjoy real-world experience
More than 1400 students from 52 Auckland schools took part in YES this year, forming more than 180 small enterprises. They have received mentoring from their teachers and members of Auckland’s business community, and taken part a trade fair and a Dragon’s Den type pitch event.
Patrick McVeigh, ATEED General Manager Business, Innovation & Skills, says the success of the Auckland YES class of 2015 is very encouraging.
“Auckland has a thriving economy and dynamic labour market, but businesses need skilled talent and labour if our economy is to continue to succeed and grow in the long term.
“YES gives young Auckland entrepreneurs real-world business experience, which plays a big part in developing a skilled workforce for Auckland and, in turn, growing our economy.”
Auckland schools have a strong track record in the YES national competition, winning the national title in 2012 and 2013, and finishing runner-up in 2014.
McVeigh continues, “The students from A Brilliant Signature, O’LeLei-Yo and the many other successful teams have made the most of the opportunities presented to them through YES, learning on the job and gaining real business experience.
“Their achievements, and the achievements of the other recent YES classes, show that the future of Auckland business is in good hands.”