YES National Finals
National Excellence Winner Ottyleah Te Houkamau (Trio Treat); HB Regional Winner Kind Light; Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce hosted the Watch Party // image credit to Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce

Teams and their whānau gathered with trepidation, waiting for the outcome of the Young Enterprise Scheme National Awards for 2021.

Ordinarily, Regional Winners from around the country would be invited to Wellington to pitch head to head; however, this year, the event was moved online.

Hosted by David Downs, CEO of The New Zealand Story, and Liz Pittman, Head of YES, the online event was a riot of colour, festivities, and excitement.

Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce hosted a watch party to live-stream the event. YES teams, teachers, and supporters came together for a fantastic night of celebration.

Young Enterprise Scheme seeks to inspire young people by giving them a taste of entrepreneurship. Teams are encouraged to set up a real-life business, develop a product or service and operate with real profit and loss.

More than 4,700 students participated in the scheme this year, forming 1,171 companies. Only one company from each region reached the National Finals (22 teams in total).

In addition to the coveted top 3 places, thirteen National Excellence Awards are up for grabs each year. Hawke’s Bay company Trio Treat was awarded the Ministry of Youth Development Award for Resilience

Ottyleah Te Houkamau, sole trader of Trio Treat, was humbled and ecstatic to receive the award. Judges praised Ottyleah for her communication skills, ability to overcome hardship and withstand adversity.

Ottyleah spoke about overcoming adversity in her acceptance speech, sharing the power of accepting “the ups and downs” and staying “focussed on your goals,” noting that anything is possible with hard work and determination.

As a young mother, Ottyleah looks forward to passing on the skills she has learned to her daughter. Skills such as collaboration, networking, getting out of her comfort zone, and understanding finance.

Hawke’s Bay team, Kind Light, was one of 22 teams representing their region at the awards.

The team pitched their natural fire starters, going head-to-head with teams from around the country. Talented local entrepreneurs Fred, Emma, and Oliver (Kind Light) were thrilled to represent Hawke’s Bay on the national stage.

East Coast Regional Coordinator, Grace Hogan, shared how proud she is of the hard work Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne teams put into their YES companies this year. “I’ve seen an increase in confidence, problem-solving, and teamwork – I can’t wait to see what teams come up with next year!”

Join us in congratulating these inspiring young people!


Ministry of Youth Development Award for Resilience

Trio Treat (Ottyleah Te Houkamau from Flaxmere College Teen Parent Unit)


YES East Coast Company of the Year

Kind Light (Fred Sugden, Emma Teraguchi & Oliver Kendall-Jackson from Taradale High School)


Runner Up HSBC Award for Environmental Sustainability

Exfoliate Me (Ellie Panton, Abbey Craig, Sophie Turner & Alyssa Harrison from Napier Girl’s High School)

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