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Ara Institute Supports Young Enterprise in Regions

Ara Institute of Canterbury Supports Young Enterprise in New Regional Partnership

More young people in 2018 in Canterbury will have the chance to set up and run their own ventures, learning first-hand from local business mentors and developing critical skills for future employment and study.

Ara Institute of Canterbury is the new regional partner for The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) and is enthusiastic about becoming more actively involved after previously hosting YES events.

“We are thrilled to work with Ara Institute of Canterbury to continue supporting local entrepreneurs. We know Ara will be able to offer value and support to the schools we work with to further impact youth entrepreneurship in the region,” Head of YES Dr Colin Kennedy said.

The Lion Foundation YES is an experiential year-long programme where senior secondary students set up and run a business while still in school with real products and services, real profit and loss.

Ara will utilise its network of relationships with Canterbury schools and local businesses to support and grow the scheme. Some 500 students will be engaged in the scheme in 2018, participating in the journey of coming up with an innovative idea and developing it further into a successful business.

Head of the Department of Business at Ara, Michaela Blacklock, said that the two organisations share similar values and Ara was delighted to become a YES regional partner.

“Working with the students, teachers, mentors and sponsors involved in Young Enterprise in 2018, we can support and challenge our young people to develop their potential. They could go on to become Canterbury’s future entrepreneurs and business leaders – and that’s exciting,” she said.

“The practical nature of YES aligns directly with the Ara focus on applied learning, where students learn by doing from day one. We apply this principle to all of our business programmes ensuring that our students get the best possible learning experience by applying theory as they learn it.”

Blacklock says Canterbury is a leader in understanding the social, economic and environmental impacts of business activity.

“Christchurch hosted the Social Enterprise World Forum this year, and we have many successful social enterprises here to inspire YES participants. You only have to look at Anteater and My Green Dinner Table, both created by former Ara students, to see what is possible.”

“Young people are playing a pivotal role in transforming and growing the local economy, and in creating a better world.”

CORE Education has provided the umbrella for YES in Canterbury in recent years with the number of students taking part regionally growing year on year. Ara looks forward to building on this from 2018 and is grateful for the work CORE have put into the programme to this point.



The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme is a business experience programme where high school students run a real business. YES is an independent charitable Trust, which grew from work done by the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce in the late 1970’s and rolled out its first nationwide programme in 1981. YES oversees 22 regions in New Zealand, each with a regional partner. Past YES alumni include Lisa King (Eat My Lunch), Seeby Woodhouse (Founder of Orcon) and Shay Wright (Te Whare Hukahuka). Young Enterprise is focused on creating a more prosperous New Zealand through enterprise, and works with schools across the country to help students learn about business and entrepreneurship.

Ara Institute of Canterbury is a government-funded institute providing world-class, tertiary-level education throughout the Canterbury and Waitaki region. Ara was created in 2016 when education providers CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic merged, bringing together two well-established organisations and over 200 years of collective experience and success.

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