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Young entrepreneurs support child and youth wellbeing

Monday, 23 Dec 2019

The recent Young Enterprise Scheme national finals celebrated the entrepreneurial successes of secondary students from around the country, with many of the initiatives focused on improving child and youth wellbeing.

The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) is an opportunity for students to unleash their inner entrepreneur and experience the start-up world first-hand. Each YES ‘company’ sets up and runs a real business, creating their own product or service, and bringing it to market. In the process, students built great life skills like how to adapt to changing circumstances, fail fast, collaborate in teams and achieve success.

YES has been running since 1981, and this year has had its biggest year yet, with over 4000 students, forming over 1000 teams.   

Some of the child and youth wellbeing related initiatives included:

  • Boomerang from Wā ora Montessori School in Lower Hutt which provides birthday parties to local children living in poverty.  Boomerang connects with families in need through its business partner – The Salvation Army – and hosts each birthday party at local children’s venue, Junglerama.  Throughout the year the business has sold merchandise, pitched to the Lions Club and run a Givealittle page to generate revenue to cover the costs of the parties, including the venue, snacks, transport and a cake.  Find out more
  • Kumanu NZ from Manurewa High School which created a Buddy Bench programme, producing benches that offer a colourful, friendly and safe space for primary school students who are feeling lonely or isolated.  Buddy Guardians — students chosen by each school — ensure anyone at the Buddy Bench feels accepted and has someone to talk to about their feelings.  The team secured $5,000 of seed funding from the Ministry of Youth Development, and is looking to expand distribution of Buddy Benches to children’s hospitals, community parks and local prisons.  Find out more
  • Kids 4 Humanity from Hastings Christian School which created a children’s card game designed to spark valuable conversations about safety in the community between primary-aged children and their parents, teachers and wider whānau. Based on Go Fish but with a fun twist, Go Ika includes lessons on safety in natural disasters, how to care for others, safety around strangers and on the internet, and many more. The team focussed on making the cards eco-friendly, multicultural and inclusive, and hopes to expand its product range to include a Te Reo Māori version.  Find out more.

Find out more about Young Enterprise, including the range of enterprise programmes and literacy resources it offers.