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Otago Students’ Natural Sun Protection Sees Them Crowned YES Company Of The Year 2022


Students from Otago Girls’ High School have been awarded The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Company of the Year for their business Sole. The company was awarded $3000, as well as a $5000 scholarship for each company member to the Massey University Business School. Their school was awarded $2,000.

On Tuesday night, hundreds of guests attended the Young Enterprise Scheme National Awards 2022 at Te Papa in Wellington. 4,687 secondary school students participated in The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme in 2022, setting up over 1,000 companies between them. The awards night celebrated 28 of these companies, and Sole Haircare was crowned National YES Company of the Year.

Sole have produced a unique all-natural colour matching dry shampoo in two tones (light and dark) which enhances sun protection to the scalp. Judges were impressed with their well-rehearsed pitch and their success in marketing their product through social media, in particular, their incredible reach on TikTok.

Second place was Upcycled Plastics who have built and developed their own large-scale production line that can recycle used plastic into a wide array of products. The company has recycled 160kg of plastic to date, which is over 3,500 milk bottles. The company was awarded $2000, as well as an additional $2000 for their school.

Sky’s Surf School from Kerikeri High School came third. Founded in early 2021 by sole trader Eva-Sky Gundry, Sky's Surf School was created to deliver innovative female specific surf lessons to wahine in Northland with the aim of utilizing the ocean to create a community of females who grow to feel confident and empowered both in - and out of the water.

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Among the judges for the competition were Phil Muir – YES Board Chair, Rachel Taulelei - Co-Founder of Oho, Saum P. Vahdat – Managing Partner at Bridgewest Ventures, Scott Dalziel – Chief Operating Officer at HSBC, Leighton Roberts – Co-Founder of Sharesies, Suze Strowger – Kaitohu ā Motu-Te Tuarongo at Ministry of Education, and Jackie Lloyd – Trustee at The Lion Foundation, who were blown away the calibre of pitches from the competing teams.

This event was the culmination of the companies’ business year. Over the past year these students have created and run their own businesses right from conception through to production, marketing and sales. The programme gives students an authentic learning experience that prepares them for life after schooling by teaching entrepreneurship and connecting them with the business community.

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Full results of the evening:

The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme Company of the Year 2022 – SOLE – Otago Girls’ High School

The Sir John Todd Memorial Award for 2nd Place – Upcycled Plastics – Rolleston College

Todd Foundation Award for 3rd Place – Sky’s Surf School – Kerikeri High School

Te Arahanga Primary Industries Award – Reed – Taradale High School

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Award for Innovation – TotalCard – Cashmere High School

National Excellence Award for CEO of the Year - To’e Lokeni & Mannfred Sofara – Bishop Viard College

Gallagher Award for Smart Technology – MaiBand – Aquinas College

bp Award for Social Enterprise – Pūkare Cards – Taradale High School

National Excellence Award for Rangatahi Entrepreneur – Coffee Direct – Rotorua Boys’ High School

HSBC Award for Environmental Sustainability – Upcycled Plastics – Rolleston College

National Excellence Award for Pasifika Business – SAINT. – Waitakere College

Ministry of Youth Development Award for Resilience – Ātaahua – Rangiora High School

NZ Aid Programme Award for Solving a Development Problem – Tokia Te Ora – Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Horouta Wānanga

National Excellence Award for Sales and Marketing – Fa’amalosi, Say it Right! – Bishop Viard College

Go with Tourism Award for Tourism – Flying Left – Taupo-nui-a-Tia College

Sir James Fletcher Award for Most Inspiring Teacher – Gina Lefaoseu – Bishop Viard College

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Award for Best Annual Review – Coffee Direct – Rotorua Boys High School


The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme is a business experience programme where high school students run a real business. 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.

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