In today's economy, it's vital to promote entrepreneurship as a means of generating income, creating jobs, and achieving social change. We need to support young entrepreneurs who have the desire and drive to take risks and succeed in business ventures.
We believe one way of helping these young people is through The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES). YES is our flagship programme and an estimated 50,000 students have been involved since it first began in 1981. Each YES company creates a new product or service which they bring to the market inside a single school year. Many of these students continue with their entrepreneurial careers after the completion of the YES year. Our YES alumni includes the likes of Rod Drury, Seeby Woodhouse and Craig Smith, along with social innovators such as Anna Guenther and Nathalie Whitaker.
There are over 2,800 students taking part in YES this year, and they have formed 600 new businesses. Amazing business ideas from this year's YES students include Kaika Energy, a Dunedin team who are turning food waste into biofuel; A new computer operating system designed by a group at Canterbury College and a Nelson College boy who has developed an "Intrude-A-Lock" for travellers suitcases.
Snowball Effect has been working with The Young Enterprise Scheme since 2014. They support our programmes because they teach young Kiwis about enterprise and financial literacy in a hands-on and engaging way. While Snowball Effect supports the New Zealand business sector at the high end through providing a platform to back Kiwi businesses; they also support the lower end of the sector through our programmes. One way they supported us this year was by mentoring a team of 10 students at an event called Enterprise in Action.
Earlier this year, 80 of our top Young Enterprise students from around the country converged on Massey University's Auckland campus for Enterprise in Action, one of our biggest events of the year. The weekend sees students compete in two business challenges: the Global Enterprise Challenge and the Fedex/Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge. Students worked in teams of eight and were mentored through the weekend by leading corporates, including Snowball Effect.
With the clock ticking, students raced to design an innovative exhibit to inform communities, government and the media about the ways light affects our lives. Team Snowball Effect's idea was to create a light cube pop-up glasshouse cafe that would spend three months at four key centres around New Zealand. With the support and guidance of their fabulous corporate hosts, the 2015 EIA students presented the judges with their slick and sophisticated ideas.
The students at EIA loved the chance to get advice from their corporate mentors. Here's just one example to show you how Snowball Effect made an impact on these teens:
"EIA was brilliant, it was refreshing meeting and working with people who thought the same way as I do. I'm so grateful to Snowball Effect who gave up their time to mentor us. They helped to research and develop our business ideas and it was a very interesting seeing what our group came up with during the short space of time we had." - James van der Klip from Hillcrest High School.