Young Enterprise Scheme

Young Enterprise Scheme

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.

Through The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme, students learn about business planning and operations, develop a range of personal and business skills, consult with and create networks in their community.

YES can be a timetabled course, or an extracurricular option. YES is commonly used as a vehicle to deliver Business Studies Achievement Standards at Levels 2 and 3. Other qualification options include the YE certificate (NZQA recognised), NZIM paper 836 or Achievement Standards from another learning area.

There is a $25,000 national prize pool, as well as regional awards, 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.

Over the years KVC has had significant success in the YES competition, winning numerous Regional awards and being the Otago Regional Business Excellence winners three times. 

Kāika Energy took on the ambitious task of converting food waste into Bio fuel and liquid fertiliser using a Bio Digester that they imported from China. This project received huge regional and national media coverage. Appearing on local TV a number of times, numerous Otago Daily Times articles, a 12-minute segment on Radio NZ National, Our Changing World Programme, and even appearing on TV1 News at 6pm as a main story. By the end of 2015 these students had developed into confident, ambitious young business people and have gone on to study at Polytech and University with some utilising the scholarships they gained as Regional and National award winners.

Regional Awards

  • Excellence in Finance
  • Most Sustainable Business Award Overall 
  • Otago Regional Business Excellence Award winners

National Excellence Awards

  • Unitec Award for Enterprising Technology
  • Zero Award for Thinking Big.

Kāika Energy were also finalists in two categories of the NZ Innovator of the Year Awards, Young Innovators of the Year and The Peoples Choice.


Kāika BeeCo

This success was followed in 2016 with an amazing effort from the Kāika BeeCo team.

Kāika BeeCo recognised a gap in the market for affordable, high quality beehives, which they named ‘Honey Huts’. They produced hives for commercial operators and those hives are now working successfully in Central Otago. They also utilised material from school redevelopments and produced niche market Recycled Rimu hives, which proved very desirable to hobbyist beekeepers who had been struggling to source beehives due to the high demand from commercial operators.

This project again received much media attention, appearing numerous times in the Otago Daily Times including a large front-page article and many bee-keeping related websites. They also appeared in an article in the Organic NZ Magazine.

Regional Awards

  • Sustainable Business Award
  • Best Sales Performance
  • Best Financial Performance
  • Best Business Plan
  • Best Marketing Plan
  • Overall Otago Regional Business Excellence Award
  • 2nd place - Dragons’ Den Oral Presentation and Annual review

National Excellence Awards

  • Excellence in Operations
  • Top NZ Scholar in the YES exam was Nadia Paine, the CEO of Kāika BeeCo.

Pātaka Nekeneke Co. Ltd

In 2017, Kaikorai Valley College grouped together yet another team to represent the school in the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme.  The team was called Pātaka Nekeneke Co. Ltd and their goal was to help improve the health of New Zealand’s youth in a fun and interesting way.  The name, “Pātaka Nekeneke”, was inspired by the traditional Māori food storage huts, and the full translation is “mobile food storage huts”.  The company was made up of four members:  Meko Ng, Jade Watkin, Sarah Findlay and Kruz Cleminson.  The company promoted healthy eating by selling their own nutritional guide that they designed and created, along with collapsible lunch boxes and water bottles.  The experience was extremely worthwhile and everyone had their fair share of facing new challenges and making mistakes throughout, but overcame these.  It was a wonderful opportunity to improve communication skills, team work, presentation, problem solving, critical thinking and improvisation skills. 


A group of pupils with a strong business acumen created a company called Egnite, which produced fire starters made from recycled egg cartons, untreated wood shavings from the school workshop, and raw beeswax from a supplier in Mosgiel.

Egnite communications director Eddie Bernhardt, said the business venture was the school's entry for 2019 in the New Zealand Young Enterprise Scheme - a year-long secondary school project in which pupils form a company, become directors, and develop products and services which they market.

Eddie said their product was made with 100% recycled material and was packaged in small material bags made out of the old curtains from the school hall.

They created no soot, no fumes, and they burned for up to nine minutes.

Only two weeks after going on the market, they had received more than 80 orders for their packs of 10, from as far away as Greymouth.

The group also started a stall at the Dunedin Farmers Market, where they would sold the product and spread their message about the environment and sustainability and also featured in the Otago Daily Times.  They also featured on TV1 News at 6, in a Kiwi Bushman YouTube endorsement, on Access Radio, The Daily Encourager and on Channel 39 News.


  • Challenge winners: MVP Video Promotion, Product Innovation, Marketing promotion, Sales Plan and Performance.
  • Finals: Best  Sales Performance, Best  Annual Review, 2nd Place Regional Finals