Young Enterprise Scheme


The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) is an experiential programme where students set up and run a real business. Each YES company creates their own product or service and brings this to market. YES, managed in Waikato - King Country by Smart Waikato, helps students develop knowledge in operating a small business, team building, relationship management, meeting procedures, record keeping, the legal requirements for running a business, and the process of reporting company performance. The value of the programme is far-reaching, providing students with skills to equip them for life after school. The YES experience will add depth to a resume when seeking employment.


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YES is open to ALL Years 12 and 13 students in the Waikato-King Country, regardless of whether they take part as a school. YES Connect has been developed to include entrepreneurial Years 12 and 13 students not participating in the programme through school.

Business Mentors

If your YES company would like a business mentor, please email Penny, and she will endeavour to make a great match for you.


Join YES on Facebook here

For more information:
Penny Bunting (Co-ordinator)

Upcoming YES events

Look out for our up and coming YES Connect events.

These are exclusive to the Waikato, where our Young Entrepreneurs learn tips and tricks for their challenges and businesses as a whole. 

Regional Finals

Our regional final is on October the 28th, at Wintec City Campus. Our top teams will go head to head for the title of the YES Waikato regional winner.

Past YES events

Kickstart Timata

One of our most valued events is Kickstart Timata. Students get the opportunity to pitch their business idea to business leaders in the Waikato in a speed coaching session. Students also begin a draft model of their business idea, and understand the process of how to ideate an idea. Our Kickstart event was held in February, with over 300 students from across the region involved. It was a fantastic event where both students and business people left inspired and buzzing.

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The Pitch

In June, over 40 teams pitched their businesses to a panel of judges at Wintec Hamilton City. Students were judged on Marketing, Finance, Business Idea, Pitch and Innovation. This was a fantastic opportunity for our students, in which they recieved valauble feedback on their businesses. 


In early September, YES entrepreneurs flocked to the scene of the annual the annual Tradefair, hosted by Chartwell Shopping Centre. There was an outstanding level of innovation showcased that day. It was near to impossible to pick a winner, however the winning team was from Fraser High School called ‘Rec Plastix’ who create furniture, tiles and longboards through recycling plastic waste. It was an amazing day, showcasing our future business leaders incredible talents.

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