For thirty years the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) has been providing budding entrepreneurs from secondary schools around the country with the opportunity to form real-world businesses, providing training and mentorship along the way.
Recently, schools from the Canterbury region competed in their Dragons' Den competition; pitching their business plans to a panel of judges comprised of:
The esteemed panel were impressed with the level of innovation and creativity, acknowledging the difficulty of choosing winners. CORE Education's Judith Tatom, who coordinates YES Canterbury, appreciated the judges' enthusiasm, saying they were already putting their names forward to be part of the programme next year.
The range of the companies' concepts was remarkable. Some had a strong community focus, such as specialised pen-grips for the arthritic and disabled, and free wifi on public transport. Others promised impressive financial gains, importing products such as "Floppets" and portable chargers. There were also some very promising 'built-in-the-back-shed' products, such as the "Angel" alarm, a device designed to go off when a product (or person) falls into a horizontal position.
"This is why we're proud to be in partnership with YES", says CORE Education CEO, Ali Hughes. "The products and innovation displayed are always amazing."
These companies will be at the regional trade fair in Northlands Mall on 7 September.
Find YES Canterbury on Facebook to see who won at the Dragons' Den competition, and for updates on other YES events.