Support for West Coast young entrepreneurs

21 June 2021
Development West Coast
Support from Development West Coast helps West Coast High School students put their business skills to the test through the Young Enterprise Scheme.

Young Enterprise Scheme

West Coast high school students pitch their business ideas during the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Business Challenge..

The YES programme gives pupils the chance to create and run their own businesses.

This year Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s (TPP) secondary/tertiary education liaison Jade Mahuika took on the new role of Regional Coordinator for YES.

“With DWC supporting the initiative, we were able to have our very first West Coast YES cohort, which is pretty exciting stuff!” Jade said.

“We’ve got teams from Greymouth High School, Buller High School and the West Coast Trades Academy involved in this year’s challenge – a series of business planning, mentoring and pitch events that gives them a chance to be creative and put their entrepreneurial skills to the test.”

The students recently pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges including DWC Capability and Growth Advisors Ian Johnson and Rob Kennedy, TPP Board Member Rob Caldwell, and Westland District Councillor Latham Martin.

Ian Johnson said: “By asking students to plant a seed of their own creation and nurture it all the way through to the end-user, YES develops an entrepreneurial mindset and pushes the students to understand and actively engage in the whole of the supply chain.”

“They often come in knowing ‘what to think’, the programme teaches them ‘how to think’. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

DWC has also provided seed funding to YES businesses: Golden Westport NZ received $350 for their business start-up providing surfboard repair kits; West Coast Collie Co. received $300 for their venture making customisable, durable, adventure ready biothane dog gear; and Papatūānuku Sports Kits from Greymouth High received $250 for their business creating sports kits (Baseball5 and Ki o Rahi) out of recycled materials.

YES scheme.jpg

Meet some West Coast young entrepreneurs

Golden Westport NZ.jpg

Golden Westport NZ - Surfboard repair kits

West Coast Collie Co..jpg

West Coast Collie Co. - Biothane dog gear