The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) is an experiential programme where students set up and run a real business. YES 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 adds depth to a resume when seeking employment.

Young Enterprise Scheme is managed in the Waikato – King Country region by Smart Waikato.

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.

YES is supported by principal sponsor Wintec-Te Pūkenga in the Waikato-King Country Region.

With thanks to our sponsors

YES Events 2023

YES Enrolments Open



Fri 24th February, 9am – 12pm

Wintec Atrium | Hamilton

The Pitch (Challenge 2)

Thu 7th – Fri 8th June, 9am – 4pm

Bill Gallagher Centre | Wintec City Campus

Trade Fair


Details TBD

Waikato Regional Finals

Thu 19th October, 3pm – 6pm

Bill Gallagher Centre | Wintec City Campus

YES National Finals

December 6th


Regional Awards 2022

Congratulations to Bliss Enterprises, who took home top honours at the Waikato-King Country Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Awards on November 1st.
Bliss Enterprises
, founded by Waikato Diocesan School for Girls students Emma Bartram, Beth Steele and Tessa Smyth, was named Wintec Te Pūkenga Company of the Year at the awards, managed in the region by Smart Waikato Trust.

Bliss Enterprises look to give customers a moment of ‘bliss’ and help them to create a more balanced lifestyle with their healthy bliss ball mixes. Their popular product line nearly completely sold out, with their last 2 units being donated to their local food bank, and leftover ingredients being made into baked goods gifted to their community. Bliss Enterprises will fly to Wellington for the YES National Finals on December 6.

Other winners on the night were:

  • Foster Construction’s Runner Up – Wheelie Tyred, Hauraki Plains College
  • Waikato Chamber of Commerce’s Excellence in Financial Management Award – Floti, St Peter’s Cambridge
  • EMA’s Excellence in Production Award – Wheelie Tyred, Hauraki Plains College
  • Waikato Pacific Business Network’s Pasifika Enterprise Award – Case C, Sacred Heart Girls’ College Hamilton
  • Best Trade Fair Presence – Baking Memories, Fraser High School
  • Waikato Business News’ Excellence in Sales and Marketing Award – Bliss Enterprises, Waikato Diocesan School for Girls’
  • Excellence in Sustainability Award – Love Eco, Hauraki Plains College
  • CAL Isuzu’s Excellence in Innovation Award – Fly Away, Sacred Heart Girls’ College Hamilton
  • The University of Waikato’s Excellence in Leadership Award – Tina Hille-Taylor, Fraser High School
  • Sole Trader of the Year – AstroSoup, Paeroa College
  • Commitment to Business Award – Reclaimed, Rototuna Senior High School

Waikato Trade Fair 2022

Well done to the 16 teams who came along to Young Enterprise Scheme Trade Fair in September at the Hamilton Community Market! Thank you to Trade Fair judges Dhammika Silva (Wintec), Rachel Afeaki (Waikato Pacific Business Network) and Chantelle Pettigrew (University of Waikato).

Congratulations to Baking Memories of Fraser High School who took out the Best Trade Fair Presence Award! And also to our runners up, Bliss from Waikato Diocesan School for Girls’ and Love Eco from Hauraki Plains College.

YES Kickstart and Speed Coaching 2022

The 2022 YES year had a bit of a different start to most years with Kickstart and Speed Coaching needing to shift to an online format. In the entrepreneurial spirit of Young Enterprise, students and teachers quickly adapted and joined us online for one of 18 online Kickstart sessions. These sessions included all the usual fixings of Kickstart with activities for students and breakout sessions with experienced mentors.

We then followed up with online Speed Coaching sessions with our Waikato schools, hosting 12 sessions with 47 speed coaches over two weeks!

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Get involved with YES!

Contact Waikato Coordinator: [email protected]